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Social Prescriber (link worker)

 Social prescribing is a way for local agencies to refer people to a link worker. Link workers give people time, focusing on ‘what matters to me’ and taking a holistic approach to people’s health and wellbeing. They connect people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support.

Link workers also support existing community groups to be accessible and sustainable, and help people to start new groups, working collaboratively with all local partners.

Social prescribing works for a wide range of people, including people:

  •  with one or more long-term conditions
  • who need support with their mental health
  • who are lonely or isolated
  • who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.

Entry requirements - There are no formal qualification requirements for this role, but you usually need to have some experience of working in social care and health or in a volunteering capacity.

It might also be helpful to have a good knowledge of the local area – including local social care and health services, community and volunteering groups.

You may need qualifications such as GCSE grade 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, in English and maths. It might also be helpful to have a social care qualification such as a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care, or knowledge in a specific area of support such as employment, social isolation, mental health, housing or physical activity.

Career progression -

When in your role you could do a vocational qualification such as a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care or a wellbeing specific qualification or short course. 

The role of a social prescriber is relatively new so there may be opportunities to progress into a social prescriber management role for which a level 3, 4 or 5 qualification would be useful. Or you might want to move into a social care related role such as a personal assistant, counsellor, rehabilitation worker or manager. You could also be an ambassador for the training hub.

Social Prescribing insights & useful resources

The National Academy for Social Prescribing is a national charity, founded in October 2019.  

The goal is to ensure social prescribing thrives across the whole country. They envision a vibrant, innovative, and ambitious movement. One that connects communities and mobilises hundreds of thousands of people. Each with a shared commitment to transforming lives.  

Primary care relies on several additional roles that help to join the local communities in securing the best outcomes for individuals and families and a good understanding of local needs.  Effective primary care and social care are vital to enabling people to live well, as healthily and independently as possible, while reducing the need for hospital care and long-term residential care.

What skills do you need?

  • Good communication skills
  • Active listening skills
  • Basic computer skills
  • Work well with others
  • Have good knowledge of the community and support available.