Social Prescribing Link Worker
Social Prescribing Link Worker
Age Concern Central Lancashire provides a wide range of quality services. A respected member of the voluntary, community and faith sector we have a long history of the delivery of responsive and innovative services through a strong, dedicated workforce. Teamwork and collaboration are fundamental to our principles along with our passion to make a positive impact on people’s lives.
To ensure all our services are delivered to the highest standards, we recognises the need to maintain and invest in staff and volunteers through development, training, support and equality and diversity.
Social prescribing empowers people to take control of their health and wellbeing through referral to ‘link workers’ who give time, focus on ‘what matters to me’ and take a holistic approach to an individual’s health and wellbeing, connecting people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support. Social prescribing link workers will work as a key part of the primary care network (PCN) multi-disciplinary team. Social prescribing can help PCNs to strengthen community and personal resilience and reduces health and wellbeing inequalities by addressing the wider determinants of health, such as debt, poor housing and physical inactivity, by increasing people’s active involvement with their local communities. It particularly works for people with long term conditions (including support for mental health), for people who are lonely or isolated, or have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.
Job Title: Social Prescribing Link Worker
Reports to: Executive Director Services
Base: South Ribble/Preston, to be agreed on an individual basis
Weekly hours: 36 hrs per week
Salary: £25,502 FTE (salary updated 20/21)
Closing date: Monday 22nd November 2020 at 12.00pm
Interviews: To be discussed
Please note that we may bring the closing date forward, if we receive a high number of applications. If you are interested in this role we advise applying sooner. Only successful candidates will be contacted.
• Working with direct supervision by a GP, take referrals from a wide range of agencies, including PCNs’ GP practices and multi-disciplinary team, allied health professionals, social care services, housing associations, and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations (list not exhaustive).
• Provide personalised support to individuals, their families and carers to take control of their health, wellbeing and live independently to improve their health outcomes. Develop trusting relationships by giving people time and focus on ‘what matters to me’. Take a holistic approach, based on the person’s priorities and the wider determinants of health. Co-produce a simple personalised care and support plan to improve health and wellbeing, introducing or reconnecting people to community groups and statutory services. The role will require managing and prioritising your own caseload, in accordance with the needs, priorities and any urgent support required by individuals on the caseload. It is vital that you have a strong awareness and understanding of when it is appropriate or necessary to refer people back to other health professionals/agencies, when what the person’s needs are beyond the scope of the link worker role – e.g. when there is a mental health need requiring a qualified practitioner.
• Social prescribing link workers will have a role in educating non-clinical and clinical staff within their PCN multi-disciplinary teams on what other services are available within the community, and how and when patients can access them. This may include verbal or written advice and guidance requiring a qualified practitioner.
• Promote social prescribing, its role in self-management, and the wider determinants of health.
• As part of the PCN multi-disciplinary team, build relationships with staff in GP practices within the local PCN, attending relevant MDT meetings, giving information and feedback on social prescribing.
• Be proactive in encouraging self-referrals and connecting with all local communities, particularly those communities that statutory agencies may find hard to reach.
Provide personalised support
• Meet people on a one-to-one basis, making home visits where appropriate within organisations’ policies and procedures. Give people time to tell their stories and focus on ‘what matters to me’. Build trust with the person, providing non-judgemental support, respecting diversity and lifestyle choices. Work from a strength-based approach focusing on a person’s assets.
• Be a friendly source of information about health, wellbeing and prevention approaches.
• Help people identify the wider issues that impact on their health and wellbeing, such as debt, poor housing, being unemployed, loneliness and caring responsibilities.
• Work with the person, their families and carers and consider how, they can be supported through social prescribing.
• Work with individuals to co-produce a simple personalised support plan to address the person’s health and wellbeing needs – based on the person’s priorities, interests, values and motivations – including what they can expect from the groups, activities and services they are being connected to and what the person can do for themselves to improve their health and wellbeing and maintain/regain independence.
• Where appropriate, physically introduce people to community groups, activities and statutory services, ensuring they are comfortable. Follow up to ensure they are happy, able to engage, included and receiving good support.
• Where people may be eligible for a personal health budget, help them to explore this option as a way of providing funded, personalised support to be independent, including helping people to gain skills for meaningful employment, where appropriate.
• Seek advice and support from the GP supervisor and/or identified individual(s) to discuss patient-related concerns (e.g. abuse, domestic violence and support with mental health), referring the patient back to the GP or other suitable health professional if required.
Support community groups and VCSE organisations to receive referrals
• Forge strong links with local VCSE organisations, community and neighbourhood level groups, to create a menu of community groups and assets. Make timely, appropriate and supported referrals for the person being introduced.
Work collectively with all local partners to ensure community groups are strong and sustainable
• Work with commissioners and local partners to identify unmet needs within the community and gaps in community provision.
• Encourage people, their families and carers to provide peer support and to do things together, such as setting up new community groups or volunteering. .
• Enable local VCSE organisations and community groups to receive social prescribing referrals.
• Alongside the PCN multi-disciplinary team, work collaboratively with all local partners to contribute towards supporting the local VCSE organisations and community groups to become sustainable and that community assets are nurtured.
• Work sensitively with people, their families and carers to capture key information, enabling tracking of the impact of social prescribing on their health and wellbeing.
• Encourage people, their families and carers to provide feedback and to share their stories about the impact of social prescribing on their lives.
• Support referral agencies to provide appropriate information about the person they are referring.
• Work closely within the MDT and with GP practices within the PCN to ensure that the social prescribing referral codes are inputted into clinical systems (as outlined in the Network Contract DES), adhering to data protection legislation and data sharing agreements.
• Work with your supervising GP and/or line manager (if different) to undertake continual personal and professional development, taking an active part in reviewing and developing the roles and responsibilities.
• Adhere to organisational policies and procedures, including confidentiality, safeguarding, lone working, information governance, and health and safety.
• Work with your supervising GP to access regular ‘clinical supervision’, to enable you to deal effectively with the difficult issues that people present.
• The organisation is committed to support continuous professional development (CPD). There is an expectation that the post holder will complete mandatory training within the probationary period and maintain a level of competence throughout their employment with us. Training includes Safeguarding, GDPR and Health and Safety. This list is not exhaustive.
• Work as part of the healthcare team to seek feedback, continually improve the service and contribute to business planning.
• Undertake any tasks consistent with the level of the post and the scope of the role, ensuring that work is delivered in a timely and effective manner.
• Duties may vary from time to time, without changing the general character of the post or the level of responsibility.
• Achieve the level of computer competency as required for the role.
• Participate in and contribute generally to the organisation’s activities, attending meetings and conferences as required.
• Participate in the organisation’s fundraising and promotions and events, working with other members of staff and volunteers.
• Undertake other duties which may be required by the organisation that are consistent with the duties and responsibilities of the post.
Essential Skills and Attributes
• NVQ Level 3, Advanced level or equivalent qualifications or working towards.
• Ability to actively listen, empathise with people and provide person-centred support in a non-judgemental way.
• Commitment to reducing health inequalities and proactively working to reach people from all communities.
• Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, with people, their families, carers, community groups, partner agencies and stakeholders.
• Ability to organise, plan and prioritise on own initiative, including when under pressure and meeting deadlines.
• Able to provide motivational coaching to support people’s behaviour change.
• An ability to demonstrate a commitment to the values and culture of the organisation and to demonstrate integrity, whilst having a positive and enthusiastic attitude.
• Professional behaviour.
For an informal discussion about the role, please contact Peter Rowbottom (Executive Director Services) on 07833 169407
Application is by CV and a covering letter which should indicate why you are interested in applying for the role and how you meet the role requirements. This post is funded until 31st August 2022 with a possibility of being extended thereafter.