Christiana Melam, CEO of National Association of Link Workers, expressed gratitude for the three-year extension of funding that ensures job security for affected members.
She acknowledged the Scottish Government and Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership for their role in reaching a resolution.
While relieved for the immediate future, Melam emphasised the importance of long-term sustained funding for link workers throughout Scotland due to the critical nature of their role. Currently, there is a need for a minimum of 591 link workers to serve the 5,915,139 registered patients in Scotland. Data indicates about 308 link workers have been recruited, falling short of our desired ratio of one per 10,000 patients. Melam highlighted the necessity of expanding the workforce to ensure holistic healthcare delivery and prevent mental health deterioration and pressure on over-stretched services.
Despite these challenges, she expressed relief for affected members, patients, GPs, and communities, as link workers’ jobs are now secured and looks forward to working with the Scottish Government, health boards, GP practices, local authorities, third sector and other HCPs to deliver for patients and communities.