After the recent virtual events and experiences due to the COVID-19 pandemic, attending the Best Practice Show in Birmingham last week felt like a luxury. Getting the opportunity to connect with so many individuals who work tirelessly to ensure social prescribing is accessible in their communities was a true privilege. Many stories shared and many stories heard. Some from our existing customers, such as Dr Samir Khan from Horsham Central Primary Care Network, who provided some excellent feedback about their experience with Social RX. We also spoke with a range of healthcare providers and staff including practice managers, nurses, link workers and more.
The Social RX team took the valuable opportunity to attend a conference during our time at the show. The BMA Theatre hosted an interactive session led by 4 General Practitioners Committee (GPC) negotiators, in which delegates were invited to share their vision for the future of General Practice. Items of discussion included staff retention, promoting continuity of care, and the value that Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) roles can bring.
ARRS was introduced to support Primary Care Networks to create multi-disciplinary teams and improve access to general practice. ARRS roles include dietitians, clinical pharmacists and social prescribing link workers. Dr Farah Jameel, GPC England Chair, stated that “we need these colleagues to support GPs”. One delegate added that “widening the workforce with ARRS roles prevents GP burnout, allowing for the provision of safe care to patients”.
Learning more about what healthcare providers require to improve their processes, is important as it allows us to align our services for their convenience where possible. We try to add value at two levels within the healthcare sector. The first is by helping healthcare providers through streamlining their tasks via digital solutions in the hope of reducing their workload. The second level is through contributing to patient/client outcomes. Similarly, we do this by providing digital solutions for the documentation and referral of patient/client records. We will continue our contribution to the health sector through Social RX and we hope that link workers and local authorities continue their partnerships with us to make it happen.