Member Spotlight – Debbie La Gette
Meet Debbie, Social Prescribing Link Worker at Lytham St Annes Primary Care Network.
Please summarise your role responsibilities
I support patients to identify what matters to them, and what non-medical issues may be affecting their health and wellbeing. I link them to groups and services within the community that may improve their wellbeing and support their engagement with those groups and services. I receive, triage and allocate referrals to our service within the team. I promote our social prescribing service to our primary care network and wider community.
What is your most significant accomplishment in your role?
I have started a local peer support network for social prescribing link workers both employed by PCNs and within the voluntary sector. I organise and facilitate regular network meetings to enable networking and peer support for members.
What is the biggest challenge you are currently facing?
Like many link workers, the biggest challenge at the moment is having very few community groups or services that we are able to connect patients with, due to the pandemic and lockdowns. This has forced my colleagues and I to work more creatively and responsively with patients to support them to get their needs met despite limited community resources.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Social Prescribing Link Workers and/or Social Prescribing Programmes?
Looking after your own wellbeing, and the wellbeing of your team, is essential. You can’t keep pouring from an empty cup.
What do you do for fun when not working?
I spend time with friends and family, and I have a lot of hobbies including painting, genealogy, singing, gardening, and making silver jewellery.
How does National Association of Link Workers add value to Social Prescribing and Link Workers?
The National Association of Link Workers adds value to Social Prescribing Link Workers by giving them a framework for the profession, providing an avenue for networking and peer support, and opportunities for education and professional development.
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