The Salford Social Prescribing Hub is committed to help create a workforce for the 21st century. Social prescribing is changing the structure of the health and social care workforce, which brings with it significant opportunities but also challenges.
Part of this work involves training health & social care professionals and social prescribers about each other’s roles, and making connections between them.
Another part, specific to social prescribers, is working to ensure that national policy frameworks and guidelines for link workers (e.g. link worker competency framework, Direct Enhanced Service (DES) for Primary Care Networks) are appropriate to link workers’ needs, and sensitive to the complexity of the link worker role as it has developed organically over the years.
Some key national policy documents framing this work include:
- The NHS People Plan 2020/21
- The NHS Long Term Plan (2019)
- 2021/22 NHS Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service (DES) for Primary Care Networks (PCNs)
Example of our work – linking OTs and Social Prescribers
An example of our workforce development work included a project, funded by the Elizabeth Casson Trust, which aimed to create a community of practice of occupational therapists and social prescribers, so they better understand each other’s roles, and can establish clear pathways to facilitate affective collaborative working around Covid-19 community rehabilitation.
We are continuing to build on this work in collaboration with Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership, with one outcome being a map of social prescribers and health professionals in Greater Manchester.
Challenging traditional pathogenic education through Personalised Care Interprofessional Education (PerCIE)
Some of our work has helped shape and develop education for health and care learners. Dr Michelle Howarth & Professor Jackie Leigh lead the national Personalised Care Interprofessional Education (PerCIE) steering group which is proactively challenging existing pathogenic models of learning in the curricula.
The aim of the steering group is to:
- Guide, enable and support Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), and Practice Education Facilitators (PEFs) to enable health and social care students to learn about strengths-based approaches to health and wellbeing delivered by services that provide a social prescribing offer
- Help support the generation of new socially connected learning opportunities that could provide rich and meaningful insight into health and health inequalities, our BAME communities, superdiverse and marginalised groups
In 2020, the PerCIE steering group co-created an education framework that helps organisations to develop pathways of learning that can shape our future workforce. PerCIE is helping to support a culture shift away from pathogenic view, help remove our ‘NHS Specs’ to enable a learning environment where learners experience community asset-based approaches through social prescribing schemes and asset-based working which is essential for Health Creation. Our innovative work is working in partnership to ensure a workforce fit to adapt to the changing needs of the wider population.