Social prescribing link workers, health and wellbeing coaches, and care co-ordinators
Social prescribing link workers, health and wellbeing coaches, and care co-ordinators focus on proactively targeting patients who could benefit from personalised care interventions. These roles support patients based on what matters to them and help to address their holistic needs through advice, support, and connection to wider services, including social, practical and financial support.
Each role is unique and has a distinct set of skills and competencies. Together they provide a holistic approach to supporting patients with their health and care needs, through personalised care.
Social prescribing link workers
Social prescribing link workers connect people to community-based support, including activities and services that meet practical, social and emotional needs that affect their health and wellbeing. This includes connecting people to services for example housing, financial and welfare advice.
Social prescribing link workers work collaboratively across the health and care system, targeting populations with greatest need and risk of health inequalities. They collaborate with partners to identify gaps in provision and support community offers to be accessible and sustainable.
Competencies for social prescribing link workers are set in the workforce development framework for link workers, along with details of training and supervision requirements.
Health and wellbeing coaches
Health and wellbeing coaches support people to increase their ability to self-manage, motivation levels and commitment to change their lifestyle. They are experts in behaviour change and focus on improving health related outcomes by working with people to set personalised goals and change their behaviours. They work with people with physical and/or mental health conditions and those at risk of developing them.
Competencies for health and wellbeing coaches are set out in the workforce development framework for health and wellbeing coaches, along with details of training and supervision requirements.
Care co-ordinators help to co-ordinate and navigate care across the health and care system, helping people make the right connections, with the right teams at the right time. They can support people to become more active in their own health and care and are skilled in assessing people’s changing needs. Care co-ordinators are effective in bringing together multidisciplinary teams to support people’s complex health and care needs.
Competencies for care co-ordinators are set in the workforce development framework for care co-ordinators, along with details of training and supervision requirements.
How to become a social prescribing link worker, health and wellbeing coach or care co-ordinator
There is no single route into these roles. People who want a career as a social prescribing link worker, health and wellbeing coach or care co-ordinator could come from other sectors where they have gained the transferable skills to meet the core competencies required for the role. These roles can also offer a route into employment for those who may have lived experience, and/or few formal qualifications.
A community health and wellbeing worker apprenticeship is one route into the roles. The purpose of a community health and wellbeing worker is to work in partnership with individuals and their communities to identify and address health and wellbeing needs, improve health, prevent ill-health and reduce inequalities. After completing the apprenticeship people may choose a career as a social prescribing link worker, health and wellbeing coach or care co-ordinator. However, they would still need to demonstrate the necessary competencies, be committed to personalised care and have the necessary training.
The National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) have published a Social Prescribing Link Worker Induction Guide. This is a resource created by NASPs Link Worker Advisory Group (LWAG) for link workers and includes practical day to day support templates such as how to SNOMED code, how to manage boundaries, case note guidance and all in line with the NHSE social prescribing workforce development framework.
You can explore the PCI core skills series here https://learn.www.personalisedcareinstitute.org.uk/course/view.php?id=3
To find out about the current training and support offer in your region, email firstname.lastname@example.org and request to be added to the Regional Social Prescribing Network and Collaboration Platform
For more information about these roles please visit the NHS England and NHS Improvement website.