Social prescribing link workers (SPLWs) are NHS staff who connect people with local community activities and services that can help improve their health and wellbeing. North east London is the first area in the country to develop a leadership programme for SPLWs to build skills and learning for them to take back into the workplace to influence and enhance social prescribing overall. This pioneering work was recently recognised nationally, as it won Workforce Initiative of the Year at the Link Worker Day 2022 awards.
Voted by the National Association of Link Workers, the team impressed the judges with their: “forward thinking initiatives to develop leadership skills of diverse groups of Social Prescribing Link Workers to become future health and social care leaders. Their co-produced initiative positively impacted participants, supported career progression, is scalable and should inspire others.”
Gita Malhotra, Workforce Lead within NEL’s Personalised Care Programme, who developed the initiative, said: “It’s such an honour to receive this award and plaudits to our other fellow finalists too. In this current climate with all its challenge, to still be visionary about Social Prescribing development, growth, talent management and retention is nothing short of amazing for all the finalists. In NEL we wanted to positively exploit the amazing skills, tenacity and capability of our link workers. This programme has been built on distributed leadership – create the right conditions for development, move away from just top down approaches, and unlock that potential! The eleven ELLW graduates have really developed and flourished, and continue to have a powerful impact on social prescribing and their PCNs.”
If you want to find out more please contact Gita Malhotra, Personalised Care Workforce Lead in NEL.