What is a Social Prescribing Link Worker?

Link workers give people time and focus on what matters to the person as identified through shared decision making or personalised care and support planning.

They connect people to community groups and agencies for practical and emotional support. They work within multidisciplinary teams and collaborate with local partners to support community groups to be accessible and sustainable and help people to start new groups. Social prescribing complements other approaches such as ‘active signposting’.

Link workers typically support people on average over 6-12 contacts (including phone calls, meetings and home visits) with a typical caseload of 200-250 people per year, depending on the complexity of people’s needs and the maturity of the social prescribing scheme.

To view the Social Prescribing Pathway offer to develop your career, please visit the link below

New - Social Prescribing LW Pathway offer

Please find the latest Workforce Development Framework here

NHS England » Workforce development framework social prescribing link workers


Please check out the page to Nominate yourself or a colleague for the LinkWorker23 Awards.

Nomination Pack


Many things affect our health and wellbeing – finances, social environment, what’s going on at home, to name a few.

For example, people may visit their GP because they may be feeling stressed about their work, money, or because they are lonely and isolated. The impact that these issues can have on our physical and mental wellbeing has been particularly clear as the nation responds to COVID-19.

But these problems cannot be fixed by medicine, or doctors, alone.

That’s where social prescribing comes in. Social prescribing connects people to practical and emotional community support, through social prescribing link workers, who are based in GP practices and take referrals from all local agencies. Link workers have time to build trusting relationships, start with what matters to the person, create a shared plan and introduce people to community support.

It helps people get more control over their healthcare, to manage their needs and in a way that suits them. It can especially help people who:

  • have one or more long-term condition
    need support with their mental health
    are lonely or isolated
    have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.

Social prescribing links them to a range of activities that are typically provided by voluntary and community sector organisations, for example, volunteering, arts activities, group learning, gardening, befriending, cookery, healthy eating advice and a range of sports.

When social prescribing works well, people can be easily referred to social prescribing link workers from within their local area, for example, from the NHS – general practice, pharmacies, multi-disciplinary teams, hospital discharge teams – to fire service, police, job centres, social care services, housing associations and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. People can also refer themselves.

There are also other forms of referral to community-based support. A wide range of ‘community connectors’ – for example, many staff working in community centres, libraries, youth clubs or for charities – can signpost or recommend activities and support in their area.

Resources for Social Prescribing Link Workers


PCNs are required to ensure that social prescribing link workers complete the following training:

  • Completion of the NHSE/I online learning programme: https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/social-prescribing/
  • Enrolled in or qualified in appropriate training as set out by the Personalised Care Institute
  • Attendance of peer support networks coordinated by NHSE/I at ICS and/or STP level

PCNs must provide social prescribing link workers with:

  • Regular access to clinical supervision provided by a GP
  • Access to GP IT systems to enable them to record referrals using SNOMED codes

Kareema McCarthy from Lakeside has helped with compiling a significant amount of information with regards to a range of free training courses that can be accessed from our course catalogue. These can be viewed from this roles page.

To View Kareema's presentation about the Social Prescriber's journey, please download the Powerpoint Presentation here.

 Kareema McCarthy Presentation


Additional Resources


 Introducing the new and improved Skills for Care website

What’s new

  • A new menu navigation to make it easier to travel around the website and find the information you’re looking for.
    A clean, simple and consistent style across the website to support accessibility.
    Updated site structure based on where you would expect to find different types of information.

Why it's changed

We wanted to make our website more accessible to more people. We also wanted to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking when you told us that it could sometimes be tricky and make it easier to absorb the information once you’d found it.

Working together 

We’ve spoken with adult social care workers in varying roles about everything from page design to the menu navigation, to the terminology used to develop our new website. These invaluable insights have enabled us to create a website to meet the needs of those using it.

Take look at the new Skills for Care website - we’d love to hear what you think and welcome any feedback at marketing@skillsforcare.org.uk

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