The Role of Community Link Workers in the Wider Community.
The Ripple are delighted to welcome two Community Link Workers to Restalrig, Lochend and Craigentinny.
Far left : Alison Leitch Right: Claire Gardiner
Social prescribing is a means of enabling GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a Community Link Worker (CLW) who can support a patient over the age of 18 to access a range of local, non-medical services and activities.
A CLW is a general social practitioner normally based within a GP practice which serves areas with high levels of health inequalities. By working together over a number of sessions, the CLW can offer support to the patient, enabling them to set goals and overcome barriers in order that they can take greater control of their health and well-being. By using ‘good conversations’ and appointments that last longer than a GP consultation, the CLW supports people to identify problems and issues they are experiencing and to talk about what really matters to them. They support people to achieve their goals by helping them to identify and access relevant resources or services in their community.
A CLW builds up knowledge of local and city wide services and activities, engaging with and developing positive relationships with these services. They will keep practice teams informed of existing and new services, whilst also identifying any local service gaps.
The CLW programme has to date supported people with a wide range of social, emotional and practical needs, these have included; low to moderate mental health issues, social isolation/loneliness, adult education, housing problems, LBGT support and benefit/financial difficulties.
The Ripple currently employ two CLW’s, Alison Leitch and Claire Gardiner, as a joint partnership with Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership funded by the Scottish Government. Alison and Claire are based in three local GP surgeries; St Triduana’s, Baronscourt and Restalrig. If you are interested in being referred to the programme, please speak with a member of staff within your surgery.