Social Prescribing Link Worker Clinical Supervision Pilot Evaluation Report

In October 2021 Meaningful Measures was contracted by The Gloucestershire Primary Care Training Hub, Gloucestershire CCG, NHSE to undertake a rigorous academic evaluation of Social Prescribing Link Workers' experience of Clinical Supervision. Here are the headline findings:

In 2021/22 the Gloucestershire Primary Care Training Hub ran a pilot providing clinical supervision to social prescribing link workers (SPLW), with the aim of supporting this workforce. The evaluation investigated whether this clinical supervision has beneficial outcomes in terms of wellbeing, stress and intention to stay in this role. The evaluation also monitored whether the clinical supervision is delivering the right kind of support for SPLW and collect feedback to further develop and improve the offer.

Twenty-six survey responses were collected at baseline (74% of the total SPLW group receiving clinical supervision) and twenty-two at follow-up after clinical supervision (representing 63% of the people having clinical supervision).The data at baseline has revealed, that the experience of being a link worker is extremely tough to the point that it is causing burnout and depression in a small proportion of staff.

Comparing baseline to follow up data the trends in the data show that the majority of link workers appreciated and benefitted from the clinical supervision. This is shown by overall reductions in perceived stress levels, improvements in three out of four ONS4 domain scores, and in the qualitative comments received. When asked directly if they wished to leave the profession 15% wished to before clinical supervision, and afterwards this had reduced to 0%, although 42% still remained unsure their future, indicating more or sustained support is needed.

Most participants actively want to continue with clinical supervision in a mixed format between 1-to-1 sessions and group session. If the clinical supervision was withdrawn now, they feel it would be detrimental to their ability to carry out their job and detrimental to their wellbeing.

Quote from the commissioner of the report:

"To my knowledge, this is the first of its kind clinical supervision program for SPLWs which has been evaluated to rigorous academic standards. It was very heartening to see objective evidence of the positive impact of the supervision offer, which is supported by informal and anecdotal feedback from our SPLWs and the supervisors. It sadly also shows the great amount of need amongst of the SPLWs which was noted by the national social prescribing team via our Action Learning Set pilot."

Dr. Olesya Atkinson, Central Cheltenham PCN Joint Clinical Director, Service Development, GP Partner, Berkeley Place Surgery

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Wednesday, 22 May 2024

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