Practice Link Workers/Social Prescribers


Welcome to the Link Workers/Social Prescribing page.  This page contains useful information to help Link Workers in primary care to find out more about their role and what support is available.

Please contact us if there are any other resources/information you would like added to this page.

Here is an induction guide for social prescribing link workers in primary care networks

Latest News/Updates:

Measuring the impact of social prescribing during Covid19 and sharing data

Although the Covid19 pandemic means different ways of working, it is essential that all social prescribing link workers funded through the Primary Care Network (PCN)  GP contract  continue to monitor and record the impact of what is happening.

          • It is essential that link workers continue to use the ONS4 wellbeing tool with each person they work with.  Guidance is included in the PCN Social Prescribing Reference Guide (see Annex J).
          • Link workers should also continue to code their activity, using SNOMED codes 871731000000106 (referral to social prescribing service) and 871711000000103 (social prescribing declined).

This will provide the national information that we need to show impact and protect social prescribing investment in future years.   More information is on the Platform.

If you are new in role

The Covid19 pandemic means that many new social prescribing link workers have been thrown in at the deep end. NHS England has produced a range of materials to help you get started in your job.  This includes:

The full range is on the NHS England website.

You will also find support, resources and opportunity to discuss issues on the NHS England Social Prescribing Collaborative Platform (aka the Platform).  To join email

Looking after you too: individual coaching support by video link, available to all clinical and non-clinical primary care workforce either employed by the NHS or contracted to deliver work on behalf of the NHS.

Coronavirus (Covid19): getting testedPublic Health guidance on who can be tested, and how to go about it – which now includes all essential workers including NHS and social care workers with symptoms

Let’s Talk LonelinessThe Government’s plan to tackle loneliness during the coronavirus lockdown.

💻💬  Webinars and where to get answers

Q&As – answers to many commonly asked questions are on the Platform.

Webinars – every Wednesday between 1.30 and 2.30pm.

In a last minute change to the billed session, this week’s webinar (29 April) was on building good relationships with your PCN and using the wellbeing plan. The recording and presentation from this and previous sessions are on the webinar section of the Platform.

The topic for next week’s webinar (6 May) is Suicide support and prevention – and managing difficult conversations. Register here.

Discussion Forums – specific to coronavirus on the Platform.  This can be used at any time for peer support and to share questions or information.

Regional learning coordinators (RLC) and peer support – if you don’t already know who your RLC is, email telling us where you’re based and we’ll put you in touch.

Stop press:

Social prescribing link workers – the key to enhancing patient care. Podcast featuring Nic Gitsham, NHS England’s Head of Social Prescribing and Christiana Melam, CEO of the National Association of Link Workers on behalf of Ockham Healthcare.


🔗 Useful links

Book Trust Home Time – a new range of free digital resources for children from the Book Trust and the Improving Me Partnership

Advice Now  – an excellent blog by Amanda Finlay, CEO of Law for Life,  which includes links to useful resources for people dealing with legal issues.  See also the 22 April webinar session on AdviceNow

Coronavirus resource for practitioners and organisations – links to a huge range of information and sources of support from the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance.


The role of the Link Worker/Social Prescriber

You will be taking referrals from the GPs in your network. (And if your social prescribing service already takes referrals from other local agencies, you will take referrals from them too.) You will spend time with the people referred to you, building trusting relationships, listening carefully to what matters to people and what motivates them.

Where people are isolated or lonely, it may be helpful for you to visit them at home.

You will work with individuals to create a shared plan based on what matters to them, to help them take control of their health and wellbeing. You will help them to connect with community and voluntary groups locally, supporting them to make their own choices and help them build confidence to cope with social situations, such as community group meetings.

You will also be working with partners to increase community capacity. Where local infrastructure agencies exist, such as councils for voluntary service (CVSs), they will provide development support to the local voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.

You should connect with them and help them identify and meet development needs of local community groups and organisations. It is also important that you work in partnership with local community workers, local area oordinators and whatever roles are in place locally. Together you will be able to share information about what training is available for small voluntary and community groups. Together, you will be able to nurture community groups and assets to help them become sustainable.


Helping People Living in Cold Homes e-learning programme

Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) has worked with PHE to develop the Helping People Living in Cold Homes e-learning programme for health and care professionals. The e-learning resource supports health and social care professionals to put National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance into practice.

Aimed at health and care staff who undertake home visits, the resource provides information on local services that can assist people living in cold homes, such as installing insulation, improving heating systems or helping reduce energy bills. It also helps people spot the signs of a cold home – including less obvious ones.

For more information about the e-learning programme, including details on how to access, visit



Age Uk Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board

Oxfordshire County Council Live Well

Oxfordshire Mind

Oxford Citizens Advice

‘Ten top tips’ cancer resources for social prescribing link workers:

Winter Home Insulation Guide for the Elderly

Routes into social work webinar

The OU hosted a webinar bringing together our social work leadership team, employers and apprentices. It examined their experiences and routes into social work and looked at how the programmes work. Hosted by Angela Gill, Head of Business Development – Government and Third Sector, the session included insights from:


National Association of Link Workers

The National Association of Link Workers is Social Prescribing Link Workers largest professional network in the UK which aims to increase professionalism and reduce isolation.

Their membership provides future and existing Social Prescribing organisations and Link Workers with a single point of access for Link Worker support and development.

To join click here


Please contact us if you would like further information about Social Prescribing in Oxford City.


Social Prescribing – Learning for Link Workers now live

HEE e-Learning for Healthcare has developed an e-learning resource to support link workers to deliver social prescribing.

Social prescribing enables all primary care staff and local agencies to refer people to a link worker. Link workers give people time to 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 and collaborate with local partners to support community groups.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits to embedding social prescribing link workers within every primary care network (PCN) as part of a wider shift towards universal personalised care. The aim is for at least 900,000 people to be referred to social prescribing schemes by 2023/24.

The e-learning includes the core elements and skills required to do the job and deliver social prescribing as part of a PCN multi-disciplinary team.

For more information visit: