Community Link Worker (Social Prescribing)
Maple PCN (Poplar Grove Surgery, Oakfield Surgery & Mandeville Surgery)
£24,000 Full-time (£19,459 pro rata)
27 days plus Bank Holidays per annum (pro rata if part time)
ABOUT BUCKINGHAMSHIRE MIND
Buckinghamshire Mind shares National Mind’s vision: “We won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets both support and respect.” It remains our mission to deliver high quality community-based services across Buckinghamshire and East Berkshire to reach out and ensure everyone with a mental health problem gets access to the help they need.
Buckinghamshire Mind has over 500 volunteers (including 400 peer ambassadors/mentors in schools and over 100 in befriending partnerships). These dedicated individuals support our passionate staff team alongside an active service user council, who all ensure our services are tailored to need and are of the highest quality.
Purpose of the role
The Social Prescribing service will be delivered by Community Link Workers working from GP surgeries in Primary Care Network (PCN) areas. The Community Link Worker will be directly employed by Buckinghamshire Mind.
Social prescribing empowers people to take control of their health and wellbeing through GP referral to non-medical Community Link Workers (CLW’s) based in GP surgeries who give time, focus on ‘what matters to me’ and take a holistic approach, connecting people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support. Community Link Workers work collaboratively with all local partners.
Social prescribing can help to strengthen community resilience and personal resilience and reduces health inequalities by addressing the wider determinants of health, such as debt, poor housing, and physical inactivity, by increasing people’s active involvement with their local communities. It particularly works for people with long-term conditions (including support for mental health), for people who are lonely or isolated, or have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.
- Take referrals from GP practices within a primary care network.
- Provide personalised, holistic support to individuals, their families, and carers to take control of their wellbeing, live independently and improve their health outcomes.
- Develop trusting relationships by giving people time and attention to their priorities and ‘what matters to me’.
- Co-produce a personalised support plan to improve health and wellbeing, introducing or reconnecting people to community groups and statutory services.
- Managing and prioritising your own caseload, in accordance with the needs, priorities and any urgent support required by individuals on the caseload.
- To refer people back to other health professionals/ agencies when the person’s needs are beyond the scope of the Community Link Worker role.
Key Tasks: Referrals
- Promoting social prescribing to patients; its role in improving health outcomes, reducing social isolation and the ability to remain independent in one’s own home for longer.
- Build relationships with key staff in GP practices within the local Primary Care Network (PCN), attending relevant meetings, becoming part of the wider network team, giving information and feedback on social prescribing.
- Be proactive in developing strong links with GP surgery personnel to encourage referrals, recognising what they need to be confident in the service to make appropriate referrals.
- Work in partnership with all local agencies to raise awareness of social prescribing and how partnership working can reduce pressure on statutory services, improve health outcomes and enable a holistic approach to care.
- Provide referrers with regular updates about social prescribing, including information on the types of people most likely to benefit from the service, how to refer and outcomes of referrals
- Seek regular feedback about the quality of service and impact of social prescribing on referrers.
- Work in close collaboration with the Prevention Matters service to maximise the availability of social prescribing across the county whilst ensuring there is no duplication of resources.
Provide personalised support
- Meet patients on a one-to-one basis, making home visits or using digital technology such as Skype where appropriate. Give them time to tell their stories and focus on ‘what matters to me’. Build trust, providing non- judgemental support, respecting diversity, and lifestyle choices. Work from a strength-based approach focusing on a patient’s assets.
- Be a friendly source of information about wellbeing and prevention approaches.
- Help patients identify the wider issues that impact on their health and wellbeing, such as debt, poor housing, being unemployed, loneliness and caring responsibilities.
- Work with the patient, their families and carers and consider how they can all be supported through social prescribing.
- Help people maintain or regain independence through developing skills, adaptations, enablement approaches and simple safeguards.
- Work with patients to co-produce a simple personalised support plan – based on their priorities, interests, values, and motivations – including what they can expect from the groups, activities, and services they are being connected to and what the person can do for themselves to improve their health and wellbeing.
- Where appropriate, physically introduce patients to community groups, activities, and statutory services, ensuring they are comfortable. Follow up to ensure they are happy, able to engage, included and receiving good support.
- Where patients may be eligible for a personal health budget, help them to explore this option as a way of providing funded, personalised support to be independent, including helping people to gain skills for meaningful employment, where appropriate.
Support community groups and VCSE organisations.
- Develop supportive relationships with local Voluntary, Community, Social Enterprise groups/organisations and statutory services, to make timely, appropriate, and supported referrals for the patient being introduced.
- Work with commissioners and local partners to identify unmet needs within the community and gaps in community provision.
- Support local partners and commissioners to develop new groups and services where needed, through small grants for community groups, micro-commissioning, and development support.
- Encourage patients who have been connected to community support through social prescribing to volunteer and give their time freely to others, in order to build their skills and confidence, and strengthen community resilience.
- Encourage patients, their families, and carers to provide peer support and to do things together, such as setting up new community groups or volunteering.
General tasks: Data capture
- Work sensitively with patients, their families, and carers to capture key information, enabling tracking of the impact of social prescribing on their health and wellbeing.
- Encourage patients, their families, and carers to provide feedback and to share their stories about the impact of social prescribing on their lives.
- Support referral agencies to provide appropriate information about the patient they are referring. Use the case management system to track the patient’s progress. Provide appropriate feedback to referral agencies about the patients they referred.
- Work closely with GP practices within the PCN to ensure that social prescribing referral codes are inputted to EMIS and that the patient’s use of the NHS can be tracked, adhering to data protection legislation and data sharing agreements with the clinical commissioning group (CCG).
- Work with your line manager to undertake continual personal and professional development, taking an active part in reviewing and developing the roles and responsibilities.
- Adhere to organisational policies and procedures, including confidentiality, safeguarding, lone working, information governance, and health and safety.
- Work with your line manager to access regular ‘clinical supervision’, to enable you to deal effectively with the difficult issues that patients present.
- Attend team meetings with other Community Link Workers, organised by the Team Manager.
- Work with allocated GP who will have oversight of the successful embedding of this role into the surgeries and support with patient issues as required.
- Work as part of a team to support the Coronavirus vaccination rollout and support the PCN with Coronavirus recovery.
- Work as part of the team to seek feedback, continually improve the service and contribute to business planning.
- Undertake any tasks consistent with the level of the post and the scope of the role, ensuring that work is delivered in a timely and effective manner.
- Duties may vary from time to time in this new and developing service, without changing the general character of the post or the level of responsibility.
Candidates are required to meet all the essential conditions and requirements listed (E) and the majority of the desired requirements (D). Please refer to these requirements in your supporting statement as they will be used to help select candidates for interview.
- Supports the aims and work of Buckinghamshire Mind (E)
- Maintains strict confidentiality concerning all Buckinghamshire Mind matters (E)
Personal Qualities & Attributes
- Ability to listen & empathise with people and provide person-centred support in a non-judgemental way (E)
- Able to support people in a way that inspires trust & confidence, motivating Others to reach their potential (E)
- High level of written & oral communication skills with the ability to apply these effectively with people, their families, carers, community groups, partner agencies & stakeholders (E)
- Ability to identify risk and assess/manage risk when working with individuals (E)
- Ability to work from an asset-based approach, building on existing community and personal assets (E)
- Ability to maintain effective working relationships with all colleagues and other partners(E)
- Demonstrates personal accountability, emotional resilience and works well under pressure (E)
- Ability to work flexibly and enthusiastically within a team or on own initiative (E)
- Knowledge of and ability to work to policies and procedures, including confidentiality, safeguarding, lone working, GDPR & Health and Safety (E)
Qualifications, Training & Experience
- Experience of working in VCS or relevant Adult health & Social care roles (E)
- Training in motivational coaching and interviewing of equivalent experience (D)
- Experience of supporting people with their mental health (in a paid or unpaid capacity) (D)
- Maintains confidentiality in line with Buckinghamshire Mind policy (E)
- Experience of Supporting people, their families/carers in a related role (D)
- Has excellent communication skills, especially with people who experience/have experienced mental health issues (E)
- Is able to network and build sustainable working partnerships with other agencies (E)
- Is able to organise own workload and work without direct supervision (E)
- Is able to keep written records and data (E)
- Understanding of equality and diversity principles (E)
- Access to own transport and ability to travel across the locality on a regular basis, including to visit people in their own homes (E)
- Meets DBS reference standards, in line with the law on spent convictions (E)
- 25 days annual leave plus bank holidays and 2 wellbeing days pro rata
- Training and development opportunities
- Sodexo employee benefits - access to a portal with discounts on supermarket shops, holidays, high-street shops, days out, cinema and gym membership
- Cycle to work scheme
- Employee Assistance Programme – free professional confidential counselling
- Childcare vouchers
- Annual leave purchase scheme
- Flu vaccinations
- Free eye tests
- Pension: Auto Enrolment (currently 3% employee contribution, 3% employer contribution
Applications: Please send –
CV and Supporting Statement. Your Supporting Statement should explain how your skills and experience meet each of the requirements detailed in the Person Specification.
The short-listing panel make their decisions based on this information and no assumptions about your skills or experience will be made.
Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, therefore please apply as soon as possible.
Buckinghamshire Mind is an Equal Opportunities employer. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. Any offer made relating to this post will be subject to satisfactory references and a satisfactory enhanced DBS check.
To apply for any of our vacancies, please send your CV and covering letter.