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 (looking after their mental and physical needs) 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.
When social prescribing works well, people can be easily referred to link workers from a wide range of local agencies, including general practice, pharmacies, multi-disciplinary teams, hospital discharge teams, allied health professionals, fire service, police, job centres, social care services, housing associations and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. Self-referral is also encouraged.