28 January 2019
Source: BBC News
The number of workers trained to prescribe social activities, like exercise groups and art classes, to GP patients who don’t need pills, is set to rise, under NHS England plans.
The aim is that “link workers” will support GPs and reduce their workload.
The link worker’s role is to help patients find suitable community activities to improve their health and wellbeing.
The NHS says more than 1,000 will be recruited by 2020-21.
In the long term, it wants link workers to handle around 900,000 patient appointments a year.
It is thought that a significant number of appointments at GP surgeries are not directly related to medical conditions.
Instead, many patients are anxious or lonely or need support with managing a long-term condition.
Vision UK notes that blindness or partial sight are not noted amongst long term conditions and considers this omission is of serious detriment to the population we work with and support.