The frontline of social prescribing – how do we ensure Link Workers can work safely and effectively within primary care?

Article


Frostick, C. and Bertotti, M. 2019. The frontline of social prescribing – how do we ensure Link Workers can work safely and effectively within primary care? Chronic Illness. https://doi.org/10.1177/1742395319882068
AuthorsFrostick, C. and Bertotti, M.
Abstract

Objective
To identify the training, skills and experience social prescribing Link Workers, working with patients presenting with long term conditions, need to carry out their role safely and effectively with in primary care services.
Method
Qualitative data were collected from Link Workers as part of the evaluation of three social prescribing schemes. Interviews and focus groups were audio-recorded and transcribed.
Results
Link Workers describe the complexity of the work and the need to define the boundaries of their role within existing services. Previous life and work experience were invaluable and empathy was seen as a key skill. A variety of training was valued with counselling skills felt to be most critical. Clinical supervision and support were felt to be essential to conduct the work safely.
Discussion
Social prescribing is a significant theme within UK health policy and internationally and schemes in primary care services are common. Patient accounts consistently suggest that the Link Worker is key to the success of the pathway. Link Workers can facilitate positive behaviour change, however they must be recruited, trained and supported with a clear understanding of the demands of this complex role.

JournalChronic Illness
ISSN1742-3953
Year2019
PublisherSAGE Publications
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/1742395319882068
Publication dates
Online17 Oct 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted03 Sep 2019
Deposited03 Sep 2019
Copyright holder© 2019 The Authors
Copyright informationAs accepted for publication in Chronic Illness: Frostick, C., Bertotti, M., 'The frontline of social prescribing – how do we ensure Link Workers can work safely and effectively within primary care?', Chronic Illness, (In Press) pp. xx-xx. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1742395319882068.
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