For Community Links Workers there is no such thing as a typical day or week, but they have a variety of responsibilities.

1-to-1 work

CLWs work alongside individuals who face a broad range of social issues impacting their health and wellbeing. They take time to identify together what difficulties the person is facing and then link them with appropriate assistance. CLWs do not set a maximum number of appointments and individuals can be re-referred for the same or other issues at any point.

Referrals primarily come from GPs or the wider practice team but can be from a third party; individuals can self-refer. The reasons people seek help range from housing and homelessness, mental health and trauma, asylum and refugee issues, caring duties, finances and benefits, employment, loneliness and isolation, addictions, relationships, bereavement, and physical health – plus many more.

Linking the GP practice with resources in the community

CLWs become a part of the communities where they operate, and as such form strong working relationships with local organisations. They attend community breakfasts and meet with resources, and ‘asset-mapping’ services available. They may work jointly with organisations to deliver a project where a gap in provision has been identified, facilitating activities and support such as health walks, gardening sessions, singing for breathing, bereavement support, etc.

Practice development

CLWs increase the capacity of GP practices to adopt the links approach team-wide. Depending on the needs of the practice, they help deliver projects for staff and patient wellbeing. Examples include the creation of murals, wellbeing spaces and patient involvement groups.

Multi-disciplinary team and Practice meetings

CLWs work as part of the primary care teams in the practices where they’re based. As such they are included in multi-disciplinary team meetings attended for instance by GPs, the practice Nurse and Health Visitors.

Locality meetings

CLWs meet regularly with their colleagues to share knowledge of resources and receive peer support. Guest presenters from statutory services or community organisations attend to inform the team on what they deliver and how best to link in programme participants.

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