It’s hard to capture what a typical ‘day in the life of a link worker’ looks like, usually no two days are the same. However, in celebration of Link Worker Day, here is an example of how one of my days might go when working in the Foundry Primary Care Network (PCN) in Sheffield.
My morning usually starts with me logging onto the GP systems to check for referrals. I have access to the systems of each of the surgeries I work within, and referrals are sent directly to me by staff (usually GPs) within the practices. Any referrals are then categorised in relation to their priority and urgency, and uploaded onto my personal waiting list within SOAR’s internal system. Any ‘urgent’ referrals are to be dealt with as soon as possible, so if this occurs this means I quickly spring into action to support the client.
When all of the referrals have been received and placed onto the waiting list, I look at my diary for what the rest of the day holds. This normally comprises of contacting clients either for the first time, or for follow-up conversations after I have researched services which they might benefit from being referred to. The services I regularly refer to offer support in various areas are; housing, financial support, social and community groups, foodbanks, employment and physical activity groups are just a few. The area which I work within is very diverse, so often when I’m contacting clients I use a facility called Language Line which provides an interpreter for a three-way phone call.
The rest of my day may then also include visiting various services and organisations within the area that I work within. I’m new to the role and have been making a conscious effort to get to know the area and the services within it which I will be referring to. Recently, I visited Longley 4 Greens Community Pantry and helped provide food parcels to its clients. I also recently visited the foodbank in Firth Park Library. I’ve also attended one of SOAR’s Wellbeing Coach’s walking groups and met with many of the other services within the area which offer various types of support for multiple different groups of people.
As well as building relationships with and knowledge of community and city-wide services, my role also includes working alongside the staff and surgeries within the Foundry PCN. I attend practice meetings and make presentations around my role to build awareness and understanding, as well as occasionally seeing clients face to face appointments in their registered practice.
Towards the end of the day I do a final check of the GP systems for any new referrals from that day, by the time I have finished doing this it is then usually time to finish and prepare for the next day – whatever that might hold!