Name & role
Sarah – Social Prescriber (For patients under 65years)
The job you do
Working with and supporting patients with a wide range of social, emotional or practical needs. Connecting patients to local organisations and community groups, alongside other non-clinical services to help resolve issues such as isolation, overwhelming debt, poor housing and more.
In other words…
Advisor, Networker, Middleman and Supporter
What might a typical day look like?
I start my day reading and corresponding to emails and tasks, and preparing for the day’s events.
I begin my morning appointments, which are 1hour long so that appropriate time can be given to each person. Many people that I see are struggling with poor mental health, some alongside complex medical conditions, so this time is crucial to build trust and helps to assess their needs in full. Patients are offered as many sessions as they need. During some of this time on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday I run social groups in Lewes and Ringmer, to which we have many regular attenders.
My afternoon starts again with administration, this can vary from completing training, corresponding with local community groups/organisations, updating skills through webinars and online meetings with other social prescribers/link workers and professional organisations. Keeping up to date and offering shared experience with others in my profession helps to gain further knowledge and gives me fresh ideas for ways to further support my patients.
I also attend regular Multi-Disciplinary Team meetings, these invite our GP’s, Nurses and Dementia Coordinator, as well as District Nurses, Frailty Nurses, Adult Social care, Community Navigator, Care for the Carers representative and the Community Mental Health Team to come together to discuss patients in our community who have the most complex needs.
I continue my afternoon seeing more patients, appointments can be via telephone, video call or face-to-face in surgery. Each contact is documented, just like any consultation had with a GP, Nurse or other healthcare professional at the practice. I complete referrals as required and speak to GPs and specialists when patients highlight concerns of a medical nature.
Although saying all this no day is ever the same!! Which I love, this job was made for me!
Qualities in quantities
Empathy, Time, Knowledge of local agencies
Highs and Lows
Highs – Helping patients to overcome the barriers they faced at the beginning of their journey. Helping patients make the improvements that they decide to make.
Lows – When patients do not wish to accept the help offered and slip back down into depression or dependency again
Message in a bottle
Anyone could find themselves in need of added support, patients from all backgrounds have been referred to me as a Social Prescriber. There is no judgement to the issues you face, however big or small you feel them to be.
If it matters to you, then it matters to me!