NHS England to recruit 1,000 social prescribing link workers

gardening pixabay

An army of advisers will be recruited to help patients live fitter, healthier lives and combat anxiety, loneliness and depression under recent plans by NHS England to ramp up social prescribing.

Around half of GP appointments are not directly related to medical conditions, according to experts. Growing evidence shows that referrals to community services such as exercise or art classes, history groups and even ballroom dancing can boost health and wellbeing more than dishing out pills or other treatments.

Now NHS England plans to recruit 1,000 social prescribing ‘link workers’ as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. The link workers will be able to give people time to talk about what matters to them and support them to find suitable activities that are a better alternative to medication as part of a step change in the provision of ‘personalised care’.

FHT Conference Michael Dixon

Dr Michael Dixon, Chair of the College of Medicine, welcomed the news. The GP and social prescribing campaigner said: ‘This is excellent news for general practice, which is on its knees. This extra support of pharmacists, physiotherapists, social prescribers and others will make a great difference to the workload of each GP.

‘Patients want a return to the time when they had ‘their doctor’. These new developments will greatly help that, but we will also require more GPs at a time when their numbers have actually been going down during years when the number of specialists has vastly increased.

‘Enabling practice to provide accessible, personal and continuing care should now be the NHS’s number one priority as all the research shows that this is the best way to reduce deaths, improve health and enable the NHS to be financially sustainable.

‘This announcement is also a paradigm change for general practice. Every GP and patient will in future have access to social prescription.

‘It is recognition that medicine now needs to go beyond pills and procedures and that the future sustainability of our health system will depend upon enabling people and communities to maximise their role as agents of health and healing themselves. This is a red-letter day for the College of Medicine, which has pressed the cause for change during times when medicine has been too narrow and biomedical.’

Michael will be offering FHT members some tips on how to connect with these new link workers in the Spring issue of International Therapist magazine.


10 thoughts on “NHS England to recruit 1,000 social prescribing link workers

  1. This is fantastic news!
    It would be great to find out more about the criteria to become a link worker and how to go about it. I can think of a few people who I think would be ideal for this. Perhaps the FHT can keep an eye on this and report back to its members as and when.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes Beki I totally agree and as a holistic therapist am looking to get into social prescription, to be able to deliver therapies that make a difference to the quality of the individual’s life.

      Liked by 1 person

      • What wonderful news for Complementary Therapists. I am very excited with the social prescription and would be ver interested to learn more. Cant wait for the spring issue of International Therapist.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Great news it would be good to learn more about how we – complementary therapists can be part of this scheme towards health & wellbeing improvements. .
      Bharti Mistry. MFHT.Awarded Mental Health research 2015.


  2. These are Amazing news for all of us who try and contribute to their communities, this will empower so many members of FHT as well as all the people that need sometimes just someone to listen to them, to let go of some past emotional issue which is trapping them in their present moment. Looking forward to seeing this implemented. Feel free to ask for support as needed. Blessings to the Universe

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s