You may not need a GP, you may need a Social Prescriber

Social Prescribers are also known as GP Link Workers and their work covers a range of non-clinical services to support social, emotional, and physical wellbeing of individuals

Social Prescribers are also known as GP Link Workers and their work covers a range of non-clinical services to support social, emotional, and physical wellbeing of individuals. GP Surgeries have reported a significant number of people are visiting their GPs with a condition where medication is not the only or best solution. Instead, holistic health and wellbeing services could be the most beneficial solution to the individual. This is where the role of a Social Prescriber is invaluable; following an assessment of needs, they will signpost the services available within the community.

What Conditions Do Social Prescribers Cover?
Access to a Social Prescriber/GP Link Worker is available to everyone and not limited to age or income. A person can self-refer, or the GP can refer. The types of non-medical conditions a Social Prescriber can support include, promoting access to services like low level mental health needs, long term health conditions, feelings of loneliness, isolation, hoarding, exercise needs, debt, housing, weight management, etc. It is not an exhaustive list. Social Prescribers work closely with communities and partner businesses to signpost these services which individuals can access, often free or for a small contribution.


Self-Referring to a Social Prescriber

Individuals can self-refer to a Social Prescriber by asking the Receptionist at their GP Surgery to be referred. Not all GP practices may have a Social Prescriber on staff, however it is a service that most practices offer. Following your enquiry to your local GP Surgery to request a referral, a telephone chat will be arranged between you and the Social Prescriber. They will follow up by introducing you to the various community services available to offer support, taking into account both mental and physical health, rather than just treating the symptoms of the condition.

If you would like to learn more about the work of Social Prescribers, visit the NHS Website for Social Prescriber/GP Link Worker or contact your GP Surgery.