Carole has been instrumental in developing her role at Yaxley over the past three years. She has a background in finance, problem solving, teaching and networking, which has given her transferable skills that are all vital to the role.
She said: 'Social prescribers help with a myriad of non-clinical issues, from making sure patients understand available transport options enabling them to attend hospital appointments, to helping them resolve housing issues, to ensure that their living conditions are appropriate. We look at mental health, social activity, isolation, basically anything that they require support with. Through all the diverse roles I have had in the past, there has been this element of dealing with people, building community assets and generally connecting people to things. It is not a new role for me, it is just a different format.'
Patients can self-refer, or be referred through a GP or external agencies. They have a series of consultations with their link worker until they feel they don't need additional support. Carole said: 'When people are in a pickle they can rely on you. It's a varied role and we give them the time that they need. The best part is when they decide they don't need any further support as the issue has been resolved. That means that our service has succeeded.'
Carole is part of a close-knit team of social prescribers, care co-ordinators and health coaches whose roles interlink: 'We have a very close-knit team here and work together, as well as with other social prescribers from across the region, sharing ideas and ways of working.'