A Day in the Life of a Link Worker!
During the coronavirus pandemic, I have been very fortunate that I am still able to support people in whichever way suits them best whether it be face to face or by telephone. To do this I complete regular LFT coronavirus testing and having complete one this morning, I feel assured I am as safe as can be and head into the office. I head into the GP practice with a full diary and looking forward to seeing what challenges the day brings.
This morning I have arranged to meet a patient at her home, joined by one of the practice staff due to the complexity of both physical illness and social wellbeing. It’s a successful visit and having the ability to see people face to face, I feel helps build an immediate rapport and get a better understanding of the person’s needs. We’re able to make a plan of action and the patient feels reassured that they have all the support they need around them. I head back to the office and complete all my documentation and start organising the support needed.
Following this, I have 4 telephone reviews booked in. I spend time chatting to each patient and offer support and advice where needed. I feel the most recent lockdown has been the most difficult for people; there are lot of contributing factors such as job losses, bereavement, carer responsibilities, mental health – the list goes on and sometimes we have to be quite creative in what we can offer or suggest to patients.
I feel extremely lucky to be able to support people during this period and offer some kind of resolution or positive change or even just be there to listen if that’s what they need.
My patient list is now complete for today and I turn my focus to the other aspect of my role, which is supporting the Primary Care Network and working with local partners, to identify local need which I’m sure is going to constantly change and evolve as we recover from the pandemic. I have a zoom meeting with a local organisation and discuss some exciting local initiatives and spend the rest of my day catching up on emails and admin tasks.
Last week was International Social Prescribing Day, this is a day that should be used to promote and celebrate all of the wonderful work carried out especially through such a challenging time. It’s without a doubt for me, that social prescribing has helped no end to reduce the strain on NHS services but more importantly has been a real life line for many people when they have been feeling lonely, isolated, not knowing where to turn for help.. It’s a real privilege be part of the social prescribing community and think this is where the real fun begins!