This is a Scottish Government funded programme which aims to explore how the primary care team can support people to live and age well in their community.
One of the Scottish Government’s priorities is to address health challenges faced by deprived communities - how being born in, grow up in and age in, a deprived community can create complex medical conditions for those citizens, and impact on primary care provision.
Working with the Health and Social Care Alliance (the ALLIANCE) a new full-time specialist role, The community Link’s practitioner (CLP) was created to work with existing primary care teams and General Practitioners.
The CLP’s work with the primary care teams to interact with patients on a one-to-one basis, to help them to:
• Identify issues which negatively impact on their health and wellbeing
• To help them to address these issues by working with them to identifying solutions, which may not necessarily be clinical/medical in nature.
By supporting individuals in their lives, the CLPs also network with local community resources to develop their capacity and identify gaps in local service provisions. The CLPs are supported, and their work is enhanced by the ALISS Programme (A local information system for Scotland) which aims to;
• Increase availability of health and wellbeing information for citizens
• Support people, communities, professionals and organisations to share information
Through provision of both the Community Links Practitioners and the ALISS Programme, it is hoped that citizens can access services to help them address any health inequalities they are facing, enabling them to age well.
Links Worker Programme: £2,506,810
Evidence of success
The Link’s Worker Programme has now embedded the Community Link’s Practitioners with GP Practices, where they are seen as valued members of the primary care team, with their caseloads being managed by the practices.
There were initial difficulties in finding someone with the right skills set to create and develop the architecture for the information system.
Potential for learning or transfer
This good practice gives key learning around;
• Working with citizens impacted by health inequality
• How to build a service to provide information on health and wellbeing to citizens
• How to work with stakeholders to support citizens to live and age well in their communities