Social Prescribing Link Workers (SPLWs) are part of the primary care team. SPLWs can provide intensive support for patients with long-term conditions and complex needs by connecting them with:
- relevant information and advice
- community support services or groups.
SPLWs have access to patients’ full EMIS clinical notes. It is therefore essential that the referrer makes the patient aware of this and gains informed consent at the time of the referral. This can be documented by ticking both of the “consent” boxes on the referral document.
The SPLWs are providing face-to-face clinics in some GP practices where room space is available. They are also able to do home visits or see the patients at the Age UK Islington offices.
Benefits of social prescribing to primary care
Social prescribing is one of six key components of the NHS England comprehensive model for personalised care proven to improve health and wellbeing outcomes, increase patient satisfaction as well as reducing the direct costs of care.
The Social Prescribing Link Worker will add additional capacity to general practices, connecting patients to a variety of holistic non-clinical services typically provided by voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations.
To find out more about social prescribing, see the Social Prescribing topic page.
Camden and Islington Public Health have also developed a local Green Social Prescribing offer. Information on where local green spaces are, the types of activities and events on offer, and more, can be accessed via the Islington Parks web page.
There are no inclusion criteria for SPLW support. Some issues that patients need support with may include:
- social isolation
- self-managing long-term conditions
- frequent attendances to GP/A&E services
- money matters, including debt, benefits, and financial hardship
- family support needs
- housing needs such as risk of homelessness, home safety and fuel costs
- legal concerns/problems
How to refer
The following clinicians can refer to this service:
GPs, Nurses, Any Primary Care staff member can refer a patient to a SPLW
Referral methods: EMIS managed referral
Central 1 and South PCNs (Age UK Islington):
Please complete the "Social Prescribing Referral _AgeUK_v2", accessible via EMIS. For more information on how to complete the referral process see Downloads
Central 2 and North PCNs (HOYD and MGWT):
Please complete the "Social Prescribing N + C2 Referral Form v2", accessible via EMIS. For more information on how to complete the referral process see Downloads