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Healthier Lives

Glasgow’s Community Link Worker Programme Expands

Published: | Primary Care

Forty more GP Practices in Glasgow will now get a Community Link Worker / Practitioner to help patients improve their health and wellbeing.

A Community Link Worker (CLW) is part of the GP practice team and supports patients with a wide range of non-medical issues that may be affecting their health and wellbeing. This includes things like: money worries; housing; mental health and wellbeing and loneliness and isolation. CLWs connect people to a diverse range of supports and services across Glasgow.

Glasgow’s CLW Programme is a component of Glasgow City Health and Social care Partnership’s (HSCP) Primary Care Improvement Plan. The service aims to tackle health inequalities and CLWs work in practices in areas of high deprivation. The CLW programme is a commissioned service delivered by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland and We Are With You.

Gary Dover, our Assistant Chief Officer for Primary Care and Early Intervention in the HSCP, said: “I’m delighted to share that following a recent large scale expansion, funded by the Scottish Government and our HSCP, the programme will cover a total 81 GP practices by the end of this year – an increase of 40 practices. An additional three thematic CLWs with expertise in Asylum Seekers, Youth Health Service and Homelessness / Housing Insecurity will also work across the City.”

Kathy Owens, our HSCP’s Health Improvement Lead who manages the CLW Programme, added: “CLWs are non-judgemental and spend time with patients – building a relationship, finding out what’s important to them and supporting them to resolve issues and to set achievable goals. CLWs ease the pressure on GP services and help to alleviate the impact of poverty on health, in our most deprived areas.”

The programme aims to bridge the gap between General Practices and communities. As well as working directly with patients, CLWs keep practice staff up to date with what’s going on in the community. This helps practice staff to signpost patients to relevant resources and supports. CLWs also work with organisations within the local community to develop and promote services and supports that are available and to help identify any gaps in provision.

Some quotes from patients include:
“I felt so lost and just didn’t know what to do or where to turn. Nobody was helping me. Then I got a phone call from an angel – that was you. I don’t want to think about where I would be without you.”

“My journey since meeting [my CLW] has evolved probably about 100% since my first phone call. It’s been a great journey and I can see a very, very positive future within the next few months.” 

“Thank you for all the support, I feel like a dark cloud has been lifted and feel I can start to rebuild my life.”

To read the CLW 2020 / 21 Annual Report go to: 
https://glasgowcity.hscp.scot/publication/glasgow-city-hscp-community-link-worker-programme-annual-report-20202021

To find out more about the programme, get in touch with Kathy.Owens@ggc.scot.nhs.uk
 

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