Link Workers

“Link workers give people time and focus on what matters to the person as identified through shared decision making or personalised care and support planning. They connect people to community groups and agencies for practical and emotional support.”

Social prescribing and community-based support, NHS England January 2019

Social Prescribing Link Workers are one of five additional roles which will become an integral part of the multi-disciplinary teams in primary care networks  (PCNs)  from 1 July 2019, as agreed in the 2019/2020 GP contract. The organisation and governance of the PCNs are documented in a  Network Contract DES specification. This includes the key responsibilities for social prescribing link workers in delivering health and wellbeing services. See also the Reference guide for primary care networks on Social prescribing link workers.

Learning resources:

The National  Association of Link Workers (NALW) has developed a Professional Learning Programme and accompanying CPD guidance and recording template for its members.

NHS England has compiled a collection of resources for link workers in primary care networks, including a suite of resources and learning events to be held during autumn/winter 2019.

A Social Prescribing e-learning resource has been developed for link workers on the eLfH platform, which include the core elements and skills required to do the job and deliver social prescribing as part of a PCN multi-disciplinary team.

In addition NHS England has set up an online learning platform to share the latest resources and encourage collaboration. To join the platform, contact 

Key organisations:

The National Association of Link Workers (NALW) is “an independent grassroot social innovation for social prescribing link workers.” They aim to be “the national single point of access for link worker support and development promoting quality and consistency in professional standards and practices.”

The Social prescribing network comprises health professionals, researchers, academics, social prescribing practitioners, representatives from the community and voluntary sector, commissioners and funders, patients and citizens. They are working together to share knowledge and best practice, to support social prescribing at a local and national levels and to inform good quality research and evaluation.

See the Social Prescribing page for related resources.

The CPD Zone is brought to you by the GP schools of Health Education England working across Thames Valley and Wessex, in association with Oxford Health FT Library.​

Page last reviewed: 27 November, 2020