Member Spotlight- Marie Adams, Social Prescriber


Member Spotlight- Marie Adams

Meet Marie, Social Prescriber at Fareham & Portchester PCN.

Please summarise your role responsibilities

I am a Social Prescriber who works for a PCN across four surgeries with a population of 45,000.

Supporting patients to identify and achieve agreed plans and targets through listening, advocacy, signposting, referrals and unpicking the underlying issues.

Working in partnership with NHS services, community groups and organisations to deliver a varied programme of activities.

What is your most significant accomplishment in your role?

Supporting a young man who was fed up with his life and terrified of going outside his front door.

Through telephone support and two face to face meetings we discussed what his future looked like. This was a challenge for him and we had to take it very slowly. Ultimately he wanted to be able to have a paid job and not be stuck in his bedroom.

During face to face meeting he mentioned his eating habits and the quantity he was ordering and consuming. I suggested a food diary and produced a blank form for him to complete. I contacted him two weeks later and it was though I was talking to a changed person, he had energy, confidence and looking forward to each day. He had realised the reason why he felt so hungry and ordered so much food was that he didn’t have breakfast, changing his routine to include breakfast he felt so much better. He wasn’t so hungry and stopped ordering the mega meals.

Moving forward to achieve his goal of a paid job I suggested volunteering, he suggested the local hospital and applied for a volunteering role. Out of 450 applications he was 1 of 120 that were interviewed and 1 of 30 that were appointed.
I spoke to him recently and he has surpassed expectations and following his initial period will be offered a paid role in A&E.

What is the biggest challenge you are currently facing?

Covid has forced the closure of all of the community groups that I referred people to. Support groups are providing telephone support, but that isn’t the same as face to face and has led to mis-understandings.

The majority of patients referred have some form of mental health issues as well as the reason for their referral to our team. These calls take time to give the person on the phone time to talk through their issues and identifying the real issue as well as loneliness and isolation.

“I contacted him two weeks later and it was though I was talking to a changed person, he had energy, confidence and looking forward to each day. He had realised the reason why he felt so hungry and ordered so much food was that he didn’t have breakfast, changing his routine to include breakfast he felt so much better. He wasn’t so hungry and stopped ordering the mega meals.
Moving forward to achieve his goal of a paid job I suggested volunteering, he suggested the local hospital and applied for a volunteering role. Out of 450 applications he was 1 of 120 that were interviewed and 1 of 30 that were appointed.
I spoke to him recently and he has surpassed expectations and following his initial period will be offered a paid role in A&E.”

Do you have any words of wisdom for Social Prescribing Link Workers and/or Social Prescribing Programmes?

Take time, don’t rush your conversations, in many cases you are the first person they have told and it can be very upsetting for them.

Follow up the patient to see if they contacted the organisation you suggested and the outcome, if not you may have to make the initial contact, but knowing you are still there to support them is key to achieving their goal.

Share with your colleague’s achievements and challenges and those times when your conversations are tough – support each other and be kind to each other.

What do you do for fun when not working?

I enjoy trying to make crafty things projects on the go at the moment are pompom wreaths, quilting panel and cross stitching cards.

I enjoy going to the theatre and live shows.

How does National Association of Link Workers add value to Social Prescribing and Link Workers?

NALW is a grassroots organisation that listens to its members and informs leaders of the real issues that members encounter.

Have comments? Share your thoughts and connect with us @nalwuk #LinkWorkerNetworks on Twitter.

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