Social Prescribing Link Workers

Leading Healthier Lives

Social Prescribing Link Workers

Social Prescribing Link Workers (SPLWs) provide people with time to talk about what matters to them, helping them to address the wide range of social, emotional, and practical determinants within their life that are affecting their physical and mental wellbeing. They work to connect individuals to identified groups, activities, and services to make lifestyle changes that empower them to make sustainable changes.

Eligibility Criteria

  • If they are 18 years+
  • If they have complex social needs which affect their physical and mental well-being
  • If they are frequently attending either primary or secondary health care for non-medical issues
  • If they feel lonely or isolated
  • If they need support with low level mental health (stress, low-mood, and anxiety)
  • If they are carers
Collaborative Care Team | General Practice Alliance

Length of Intervention

Engagement with the SPLW service will be approximately 12 appointments and can be for up to 6 months, however this will vary with the complexity of need. Appointments are generally face-to-face within the GP practice, remotely by telephone or in a specified community environment.

Appointments are initially an hour long; subsequent appointments aim to be 30 minutes, and all follow an established process.

Referral Route

You can refer patients through clinical and non-clinical staff based within the practice. There is a referral form on SystmOne where you can search ‘SPLW’ and it will provide you with information including eligibility criteria. SPLWs will then screen individual referrals in line with role criteria. 

Frequently Asked Questions

SPLWs offer patients the chance to address their concerns and promote self-empowerment by linking patients to appropriate services within the community. SPLWs are non-medical professionals generally located in GP practices who work with people who are mobile and able to engage outside their home.

Support Workers work actively alongside individuals, at home and in the community, to address their needs.

SPLWs link patients to services and individuals within the community sector that are a specialist in this specific area. Once contact is made with specialised support the patient will be guided by them.

Within the job scope, SPLWs can link patients to community-based assets that support stress, anxiety, and low mood. Those with more complex mental health needs require a referral to secondary mental health services by a medical practitioner.

No. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept referrals based upon the need to support a form filling exercise, this is not within our job criteria. We kindly recommend you contact the relevant organisation that deals with the condition that the patient is experiencing.

What is the difference between this service and SPRING Social Prescribing?

Social Prescribing Link Workers SPRING Social Prescribing
  • 18 years+
  • 18 years+
  • Lonely or Isolated
  • Living with one or more long term physical health conditions
  • Complex social needs which affect physical and mental wellbeing
  • Social need e.g. social isolation, low socio-economic background, low mental wellbeing
  • Motivated to want to make a change
  • Motivated to want to make a change
  • Frequently attend primary or secondary health care for non-medical issues
  • Have managed care needs
  • They experience low mood and anxiety *Not in crisis
  • Not currently in Crisis
  • Independently able to access groups, activities, and services
  • Independently able to access groups, activities, and services
  • Willing to work with SPLWs for up to 6 months
  • Willing to work with SPRING for up to 12 months
  • Can only be referred into the service by their GP practice
  • Can self-refer from the SPRING website
  • Based in GP practices
  • Based in the community
  • Client review will take place at 3 months
  • Client review will take place at 6 and 12 months

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