Social Prescribers - A Day in the Life
My name is Sam and I work across four GP surgeries in south west Haringey providing social prescribing to NHS patients. I’ve been in the role for three months, and although it hasn’t been that long, I’m really enjoying the experience so far.
My average working day
My day is mostly made up of making calls to newly referred patients to see how I can help and support them, as well as catching up with the patients I am already supporting. But my day is not exclusively working with patients, I spend a lot of time calling and visiting organisations in the community to build links and to understand what services, resources, support and activities are out there for patients. I am currently setting up a men’s walking group with a colleague that will run weekly in Haringey.
In this role I have worked with the NHS, Haringey Council, volunteers and patients. The role is very dynamic and there is plenty of opportunities to leave the surgery and immerse yourself in the community we support.
Sam's Case Study
I recently worked with a patient whose first language was not English, using the Language Line service to communicate via an interpreter. She had housing issues that had been ongoing for many years, but was never able to effectively communicate with the council due to language barriers. She felt exhausted with the situation and really needed support. I managed to connect her with a community organisation, who will now advocate for her in her own language. They can communicate with the council and also offer emotional support to the patient.
She was delighted to be able to be heard and properly supported, and that her ongoing housing issue was finally recognised. She asked if I could speak with her regularly as she felt I was able to listen to her. Unfortunately, we are not able to support patients long-term, but I explained that she could be re-referred if she ever needed further support. The experience was rewarding for me and I felt that I made a real difference to the patient’s life.
My name is Aisha and I’ve been working as a Social Prescriber for almost one and a half years. I work in three GP surgeries in Haringey.
My average working day
I work with patients by providing them with a wide range of emotional, social, and practical support. I do this by connecting patients to local community groups, services and organisations through signposting and referral. These local community groups and organisations provide non-clinical services and support for issues such as isolation, poor housing, debt, benefits, employment, education, mental health support and more.
Aisha's Case Study
Mrs S is a single mother with three-year-old twins, a boy and a girl. She is unemployed and lives on a low income. She did not have essential household goods, including beds for herself and her children. Through an appointment at the surgery, she raised these issues with her GP, and she was referred to me. I directed her to the Haringey Support Fund, but her application was rejected. I then referred her to a small charity in Haringey called Besom, and as a result, Mrs S received a double bed, new mattress, and bed sheets. Staff from Besom delivered the items, installed the bed, and provided some toys for her children. I contacted Mrs S to follow up after she received the items. She was very happy about our support and thanked me: “We used to sleep on the floor, now we have a bed to sleep on. Thank you!”.
I also referred the family to Little Village, a charity supporting families with babies and children under five living in poverty across London. The family are now on a waiting list to receive beds for the children.