Social prescribing empowers people to take control of their health and wellbeing through referral to ‘link workers’ who give time, focus on ‘what matters to me’ and take a holistic approach, connecting people to diverse community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support. Link workers also support existing groups to be accessible and sustainable and help people to start new community groups, working collaboratively with all local diverse partners.
Social prescribing link workers will work as a key part of the primary care network (PCN) multidisciplinary team. Social prescribing can help PCNs to strengthen community and personal resilience, reduce health inequalities (in relation to timely access and outcomes) and wellbeing 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 diverse 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.
The lead social prescriber would provide line management and leadership to the PCN social prescribers, whilst acting as the liaison between the social prescribers and the PCNs, OHL and AUKLS. As well as their lead management role, they will also be working in a link worker capacity.
One Health Lewisham is a federation 38 GP practices, stretching from Blackheath to Bellingham, serving a population of 310,000 people. Lewisham’s population is relatively young, with one in four residents aged under 19 years. The population aged 60 years and over represents - 1 - one in eight people in the borough. This contrasts with England as a whole, where one in four-five people is over 60. Lewisham is the 31st most deprived Local Authority area in England. Relative to the rest of the country Lewisham’s deprivation is increasing. OHL works to develop pan Lewisham ways of working, reduce variation, improve quality and support GP Practices.
Working in collaboration with local primary care networks (PCNs) and Age UK Lewisham and Southwark (AUKLS), we will be providing social prescribers to primary care in Lewisham. This role will be a collaboration between One Health Lewisham and Age UK Lewisham and Southwark, in the provision of social prescribers for patients of Primary Care Networks.
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