Social prescribers help people find solutions to things that are difficult.

A range of health and wellbeing professionals have been added to general practice teams as part of a programme to expand the NHS workforce. This enables the NHS to prioritise people’s health and wellbeing whilst improving access to primary care services. Some of these roles work in GP practices and others work in the wider community to help people get the most appropriate care when they need it. One of the newer roles in the general practice multidisciplinary team is the social prescribing link worker, sometimes referred to as a social prescriber.

People often visit their GP because they are struggling to find solutions to difficult things, such as feeling lonely, for debt, employment or housing problems, or difficulties with their relationships. All of these things have a big impact on our physical health and mental wellbeing. These problems cannot be simply fixed by taking medication or a doctor alone.

Social prescribing aims to provide support that looks at people as a whole person, not just their physical or mental health needs. The support considers the person’s social, emotional, and practical needs by finding solutions to difficult things, such as housing, debts, finances or employment, and by becoming more involved in the local community.


Social prescribers are available to everyone and works for a wide range of people including people who:

  • have one or more long-term health conditions.
  • need support with their mental health, such as stress, anxiety and low mood.
  • are lonely or isolated.
  • have complex social needs which affect their physical health and wellbeing.
  • visit their GP and hospital frequently, because they’re not sure who can help them.
  • are not confident managing their own health and need support.
  • are looking for support, guidance and motivation to make lifestyle changes.

They do this by addressing their needs flexibly, connecting them with essential non-medical services, such as local community, voluntary and other support services, or signposting them to resources, activities or groups to improve their health and wellbeing.

How social prescribers can help you:

  • Provide a safe space and a listening ear.
  • Help people find solutions to problems using available local/national resources.
  • Provide connections (signposting) and follow-up to useful support and information.
  • Address people’s needs in a flexible way.
  • Help introduce people to support groups.
  • Breakdown barriers and anxiety around seeking help – the service is available to all.
  • Encourage mindfulness and self-care through a holistic approach.
  • Provide reassurance to encourage people to reach out.
  • Offer longer appointment times so they can get to know an individual more.

By providing a safe space and a listening ear, and by taking the time to help people find solutions to things they find challenging, social prescribers can help reduce pressure on GP appointments by supporting non-medical care needs and help to encourage healthier communities.

We know that proactive social prescribing can impact high frequency users and that it also helps us to address health inequalities more effectively, and support hospital discharge.

To access social prescribing appointments, please contact your GP practice.

In Shropshire, people can self-refer by phoning 0345 678 9028 or e-mailing with the subject line ‘social prescribing self-referral’.

People can also get help by asking any member of staff at their GP practice for a referral. Referrals can be made by other services, such as the police service, fire service, or other NHS services (e.g., weight management). Click here for more information on Shropshire’s social prescribing services.

In Telford and Wrekin, Telford Mind and Teldoc both provide social prescribing services. People can also ask for a social prescribing referral from any member of staff at their GP practice.

Click here for more information on Telford Mind’s social prescribing services.

Click here for more information of Teldoc’s social prescribing services.


Click here to read our blog ‘Supporting people to become happier, healthier versions of themselves’: Social Prescribing in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

Page last updated 15 March 2024