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Social prescribing - improve health and enjoyment in life

What is social prescribing?

At its most basic, a social prescription offers the kind of help that doesn’t come in a tube or bottle. Instead, a link worker, sometimes called a 'wellbeing link worker' or 'social prescribing link worker' creates your own social prescription to provide support that will help you access activities to improve health and enjoyment in life.

What is a wellbeing/social prescribing link worker?

A link worker gives people their time and seeks to address individuals’ needs in a holistic way, focusing on ‘what matters to you’. They can connect people to community groups and relevant services for practical and emotional support, as well as helping individuals to take greater control of their own health and wellbeing.

What could a social prescription include?

A personalised care and support plan developed between you and a  link worker could include creative activities such as art, dance and singing. Or it could be walking football, gardening, fishing or knitting groups. And it might also be to services such as debt counseling, housing and other practical support agencies. It will depend on what your own priorities are.

How can social prescribing help me?

Some of the health and social benefits include:

  • Lower stress and anxiety
  • Reduced isolation or loneliness
  • More motivation and energy
  • Improved mood
  • More confidence
  • Reduced pain and fewer symptoms
  • A more active mind

How do I make an appointment to see a link worker?

You will need to contact your GP practice to find out if this service is available to you. If so, you can make an appointment yourself. GPs and practice nurses can also refer you to a link worker and receptionists may automatically book you in with a link worker if you are suitable for this service.

Will I need to see the link worker on a regular basis?

The number of times you see a link worker will depend on your needs. This could be a one off appointment, or take a few more whilst they connect you with community groups.

Why is a link worker based in the GP surgery?

Many people go to their GP because it’s a familiar route to seek help but not everyone needs a medical solution. A link worker based in your GP surgery will enable you to access the right support to tackle your problems and feel better.

This new service is part of an offer from Primary Care Networks (PCNs). More information can be found here: https://www.valeofyorkccg.nhs.uk/about-us/primary-care-networks/

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