Integrated Care & Social Care

28.01.19

NHS to recruit army of ‘social prescribers’ to relieve pressure on GPs

An army of workers trained to prescribe social activities as treatments will be recruited by the NHS to help patients deal with “the scourges of modern life” and help take pressure of GPs.

The NHS wants social prescribing ‘link workers’ to signpost people to services such as community services such as dancing classes, history groups, and sports clubs which it says can help people live healthier lives.

NHS England (NHSE) says it will hire 1,000 advisers by 2020-21, supporting GPs and freeing up their workloads to focus on patients who need their expertise – as well as using social prescribing to boost health and wellbeing, as opposed to prescribing pills or other treatments.

GP surgeries will work with each other in around 1,400 primary care networks covering the country as part of the NHS’s long-term plan, with each network having access to a social prescriber link worker paid for by NHSE.

By 2023-24, NHSE wants social prescribers to be handling around 900,000 patient appointments a year.

Dr Nikita Kanani, NHS England’s acting medical director of primary care, said: “We will be recruiting a substantial number of people to support general practitioners over the next five years, to help ease the workload and pressures that we know general practice is under.

“But we see the network of social prescribers as a fundamental change to the way primary care operates and vital to the future. Recruiting social prescriber link workers will be a priority target as a part of the Universal Care Plan.”

The chair of the Royal College of GPs, Helen Stokes-Lampard, commented: “Often the underlying reason a patient visits their GP is not medical, yet it can have a considerable impact on their health and wellbeing.

“Ensuring that GPs and our teams have good, easy access to people who can link patients with classes or groups in the community and other non-NHS services, that could potentially be of far more benefit than any medicine, is something the college has long called-for, so the focus on this is incredibly welcome.”

Part of the long-term plan, the blueprint for universal personalised care is due to be approved by NHS England’s board later this week.

Matt Hancock added: “As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, social prescribing will become an indispensable tool for GPs, who will be supported by a new army of workers.”

He called personalised care the future for the NHS, and said that millions of people would soon be able to access care “truly tailored to their individual needs.”

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

NHS staff to receive ‘fast-track’ mental health support as part of wellbeing plans

21/02/2019NHS staff to receive ‘fast-track’ mental health support as part of wellbeing plans

The government has pledged to provide better mental health and wellbeing support for NHS staff as part of its ‘workforce implementation pla... more >
NHS pays £35m in tax penalties for staff breaching pension limits

21/02/2019NHS pays £35m in tax penalties for staff breaching pension limits

Nearly £35m was paid by the NHS for thousands of staff members who broke limits on pensions savings, according to the Financial Times.... more >
University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust hospital hit with ‘requires improvement’ rating again by CQC

21/02/2019University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust hospital hit with ‘requires improvement’ rating again by CQC

The health inspectorate has told University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust that it must improve its diagnostic and pharmacy services at Derriford H... more >
Suicidal NHS employee unfairly dismissed after being issued with ‘appalling’ legal threat by trust

20/02/2019Suicidal NHS employee unfairly dismissed after being issued with ‘appalling’ legal threat by trust

An NHS staff member was threatened with legal action by an ambulance trust after he reported feeling suicidal and was unfairly dismissed, an empl... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now bey... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Did Brexit drown out the NHS Long Term plan?

20/02/2019Did Brexit drown out the NHS Long Term plan?

In January the NHS released its much-anticipated Long Term plan, pledging to save 500,000 lives through new prevent strategies, and making a concerted effort to improve the general public’s health. But Simon Keen, media relations manager at NHS Providers, poses the question: Did Brexit drown out the NHS Long Term plan? Brexit. Bruss... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Maximising volunteer potential in hospitals

14/02/2019Maximising volunteer potential in hospitals

Sam Ward, director of commissioned services at the Royal Voluntary Service, argues that the right training can help harness the power of voluntee... more >
ICO: Cyber security and the NHS

14/02/2019ICO: Cyber security and the NHS

Peter Brown, acting head of technology policy at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), explains the importance of good practice in data pr... more >
Leading and managing experts

14/02/2019Leading and managing experts

A coaching conversation is likely to yield the best results. Managing experts in the health industry can be a challenging and varying responsibil... more >
Mesothelioma in the UK: a growing fight

14/02/2019Mesothelioma in the UK: a growing fight

The health impacts of asbestos in the UK can cast a much wider net than those in the construction and building sector. Liz Darlison, head of serv... more >
Mental health and the NHS estate: putting it right

06/02/2019Mental health and the NHS estate: putting it right

With toilets falling apart, poor soundproofing, and uncomfortably hard flooring, mental health facilities can often feel more like prisons than a... more >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >
Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >
Tackling infection prevention locally

04/10/2017Tackling infection prevention locally

Dr Emma Burnett, a lecturer and researcher in infection prevention at the University of Dundee’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and a boar... more >

health service focus

View all News