18 Feb 2020
The National Association of Link Workers (NALW) is the largest professional network for link workers in the UK and increases professional consistency and competence in the field of social prescribing.
In this voluntary role, Laura will make a strategic impact on the social prescribing agenda in Wales, while helping practitioners to stay connected, share best practice, and to access specialised support.
United Welsh’s social prescribing service Wellbeing 4U encourages people to be responsible for their own health by placing them at the centre of their care, promoting independence and personal responsibility.
Having worked as an integral part of the service for over two years, Laura is well-placed to be the Welsh point of contact for the NALW.
Laura said: “I am delighted to take up this exciting new role with NALW to provide leadership and support for social prescribing across Wales.
“As social prescribing becomes the norm, it will become increasingly important to share knowledge and experiences so that practitioners have the right kind of support to help others in their communities to live happily and in good health.”
More people are living with complex, chronic conditions that require support outside of conventional medical treatments and often, patients choose to consult with their GP when they feel overwhelmed as they often don’t know where else they can go for help. This includes support for what are primarily social problems.
Social prescribing reduces pressure on GPs and other primary care professionals by addressing the social, emotional and practical day-to-day needs of patients to improve their wellbeing overall.
Wellbeing 4U was commissioned by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board in 2016 and since then, it has been life-changing for patients and a life-line for health professionals.
In the first three years of service, the team have supported over 3,800 patients and produced approximate cost savings of over £370,000.