It is a key time in the development of social prescribing in Leeds, both with the mobilisation of Linking Leeds and also in relation to new Primary Care Network (PCNs) funded posts.

By Pip Goff, PSI-Voltion/Tenfold Director 

Local activity and national updates give opportunities to ensure future resources are used well alongside existing Linking Leeds Services, but we should also acknowledge the real challenges that all of these elements have brought to our Leeds system.

An extraordinary meeting of the Citywide Social Prescribing Steering Group was held in January to look at what the vision for the Leeds Social Prescribing model should be in the light of changing landscape and an approach to ‘personalisation family’ workforce roles (recognising that a personalisation approach and social prescribing skills are important across different job roles).

The City wide Social Prescribing Steering Group is supporting Linking Leeds in the continued mobilisation of the service and recognises the need for early and transparent communication of any service issues and challenges was agreed in order for the appropriate support to be provided by partner agencies.

A separate management structure may be needed to support the PCN posts. Additional national NHS guidance has been issued which is shaping discussions.

The finalised GP contract now allows PCNs to employ care coordinators and wellbeing coaches as well as social prescribing link workers – so it is really important to think about the implications of this.

A task and finish group to explore whether we can develop this approach personalisation roles that have a common spine through the job description regardless of where they are employed with a similar salary reimbursement is planned.

These roles include:

  • City wide contract via Linking Leeds for social prescribers
  • PCN SP link workers
  • Primary care support worker
  • Care coordinators linked to PHM pilots
  • SWIFT workers
  • Self-management facilitators in LCH

As a sector we may also want to consider the limitations of the roles and understanding about the roles, when each role will have a different local remit and identity as well as the interaction between formalised, paid roles and informal, (possibly) unpaid ‘community champions’ and others

The Social Prescribing steering group meets again this Friday (28 February) so please do send any comments or feedback to Pip Goff as the Forum Central representative on this group.

[email protected]