Health and wellbeing support

specific support for social precribers

For social prescribing to work successfully, link workers need suitable support and training. It is also vital that the wider workforce understands social prescribing to enable appropriate referrals. We are developing a training and development programme for the additional link workers coming into primary care, to include online learning, facilitated peer support and regional learning events/webinars. Link workers in primary care will receive direct line management and supervision from a GP.  A sample job description and person specification is included in the Summary Guide to Social Prescribing.

Your PCN will appoint a GP supervisor to provide direct supervision for your work. They will meet you regularly, provide line management, address any issues or concerns and help you to succeed in the role. This will include ensuring that you can raise patient-related concerns (such as abuse, domestic violence, or other safeguarding issues) and can refer individuals back to other health professionals as relevant, for further support, review or monitoring.

Where social prescribing link workers are employed by a partner ‘social prescribing provider’ agency, the GP supervisor will still be required. In this arrangement, the GP supervisor will also need to involve the partner organisation in regular progress updates about your role, enabling clear lines of accountability, effective, seamless, joint working and problem-solving challenges together.

As well as the ongoing support you will receive from the GP supervisor, you should have regular access to clinical or non-managerial supervision both with your GP supervisor and other relevant health professionals within the PCN. This clinical or non-managerial supervision will help you to manage the emotional impact of your work and be guided by clinicians on dealing effectively with patient risk factors.

For social prescribing to work successfully, link workers need suitable support and training. It is also vital that the wider workforce understands social prescribing to enable appropriate referrals.

NHS England are developing a training and development programme for the additional link workers coming into primary care, to include online learning, facilitated peer support and regional learning events/webinars.

An extensive programme of support and development is available to social prescribing link workers and primary care networks.

The North West Social Prescribing Network (NW SP Network) is part of a national network which is supported by NHS England and coordinated by the University of Westminster. In the North West it is hosted by Voluntary Sector North West (VSNW) and co-chaired by Jo Ward, Changemaker, and Warren Escadale, Chief Executive of VSNW.

Our core objective is to be at the forefront in social prescribing and we aim to:

  • Engage and support health and social care leaders and decision-makers
  • Develop the evidence base for excellence in social prescribing
  • Build stronger working relationships between acute, primary, community and social care and effective, sustainable, local community action

To become a member or discuss being a member please contact Jo Ward by email: or telephone: 07708 428096, or you can complete our registration page and sign-up online.

Download NHS 70 Symposium and North West Social Prescribing Network Meeting Presentations (July 2018)

NHS-wide health and wellbeing support

Short daily stress-management sessions via Zoom for healthcare professionals around the globe. Sessions run morning, afternoon and evening and are free to access, no registration necessary.

Find out more about Covid Calm at

An app to support those with anxiety or worry using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other tools. Free NHS access until end of December 2020.

Find out more about Daylight at

The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provides confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The free 24-hour telephone counselling and information services can be accessed at any time of the day and night. Call: 0800 783 2808.

Visit EAP online at and enter 72936 in the username box and 72936 in the password box. You can also download Health-E app at on the App Store and via Google Play.

A site for mindfulness and meditation. Free to access until December 2020 if you register with an NHS email address.

Find out more about Headspace at ttps://

Fontline primary care colleagues involved in the delivery of Primary Care services, both clinical and non-clinical, are facing unprecedented challenges through Covid-19. Looking after you too offers coaching support to help primary care staff to maintain their psychological wellbeing during this time, enabling them to maintain the delivery of frontline primary care.

Individual coaching support is available with a highly skilled and experienced coach.  This will be a space for you to offload the demands of whatever you are experiencing and be supported in developing practical strategies for dealing with this.  It might be that through a one-off conversation you have all the strategies you need to cope with your situation and stay well.  Or you might find a few sessions helpful.  It is all led by you.

Sessions are available Mondays to Fridays between 08:00am-10:00pm and on Saturdays and Sundays between 10:00am-6:00pm. The first session will last up to 45 minutes. The sessions will be delivered virtually, preferably via a video platform, but telephone appointments are also available. Subsequent sessions will be dependent on the conversation between you and your coach. Your coach might signpost you on to further support if they think this might be helpful. You may receive follow-up emails to support you in maintaining your wellness once your coaching sessions have finished.

Register and book a coaching session at

The Greater Manchester Bereavement Service was launched on 30th April 2020 and provides a single point of contact for people in Greater Manchester to get advice and support if they are bereaved, directing them to both local and national services.

People can either call the service on 0161 983 0902 or visit

The Greater Manchester Resilience Hub was set up in response to the Manchester Arena Attack in 2017 to co-ordinate care and support for thousands of children, young people and adults whose mental health and/or emotional wellbeing was affected.

Greater Manchester Resilience Hub is also providing support to all health and care workers (and their families), working in Greater Manchester, who have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Find out more about the Greater Manchester Resilience Hub at and the coronavirus support available at

NESTAC (New Step for African Communities) Charity works to empower the disadvantaged population within the Black and Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, particularly refugees, asylum seekers and other immigrants from the new emerging communities in Greater Manchester.

NESTAC provides mental health support specifically aimed at people from BAME communities. Find out more at

The NHS Staff support line is a confidential free staff support phone line 0300 131 7000, operated by the Samaritans accessible 7:00am-11:00pm seven days a week

Alternatively, you can text FRONTLINE to 85258 for 24/7 text support

The NHS practitioner health service is confidential and can be accessed between 8am-8pm weekdays and 8am-2pm weekends by emailing, calling 0300 0303 300 or visiting the website at

Our NHS people is a wellbeing support platform created by the NHS as support for you to manage your own health and wellbeing while you look after others at this time. It offers short guides, pathways through information and links to external apps. Requires registration but doesn’t require an NHS email address.

Find out more at

From Tuesday 7 April, the Silver Cloud digital mental health platform will be available to provide extra support and help for those who may be feeling stressed and anxious during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Silver Cloud offers a number of online programmes to help ease stress levels, improve sleep or build resilience. Each programme uses proven methods, including cognitive behavioural therapy, and all information entered is anonymous, confidential and secure.

The provision of Silver Cloud is part of a Greater Manchester wide programme of new digital services and online support launched this week. Mental health services are facing new challenges and coming under additional pressure due to the COVID-19 outbreak as they try to support those already accessing services and deal with new cases, whilst managing the impact on their staffing levels. This new package of support aims to help people to stay well, reducing the need for them to attend GP practices or hospitals. This new provision can be accessed by those with existing mental health issues as well as anyone who may be struggling due to social distancing and self-isolation restrictions.

Access Silver Cloud at

Health and wellbeing offers in the form of virtual Common Rooms are open to anyone working within the NHS across England, regardless of job role, organisational context or hierarchy and includes all final year students who have been working on the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Common Rooms are a safe and supportive environment hosted by an experienced and approved practitioner. They involve one-off meetings for one hour with a maximum of 10 NHS staff – although you are of course able to access them as often as you may feel to be helpful to yourself. Discussion in the room is guided by the participants and focusses on present and future coping and support.

By joining, you will have time to:

  • reflect
  • share frustrations and experiences
  • find ways to cope with how Covid-19 is affecting your life at home and at work

The Virtual Common Rooms are listed on the NHS England events page at