It is a wonderful feeling when people who were struggling feel better

There are several elements to being a social prescriber, as Mary Abedin, who works for the London borough of Barking and Dagenham, makes clear.

First – investigation. She listens sympathetically, to understand the main worries and concerns of the people referred to her.

Second – insight. She makes suggestions based on what she has heard that lead people towards identifying, with her help, the kind of support they need for the non-medical issue that has led to them being referred to her by their GP practice.

Third – knowledge. She stays on top of what services, groups, professionals and activities are available locally so she can confidently link residents to the right place.

Fourth – organisation. She fits in all this plus follow ups with the people she has helped to check how they are doing.

And then there is the best bit – when she finds out that residents who were struggling are now feeling better. That is a wonderful feeling, Mary says.

UPDATED: 09/03/2023