Former GP receptionist and banker named social prescribing link worker of the year

A former senior banker who went on to become a GP receptionist before becoming a social prescriber has been named social prescribing link worker of the year.

Award winners: (clockwise from top left) Tracy Pike, Ethna Parker, Outside Edge Theatre and Enable Leisure and Culture

Tracy Pike, an advocacy and support worker for Health and Care in Dorset a charity that works with PCNs in the county to deliver social prescribing, received the award as part of the UK Annual Social Prescribing Link Worker Day Awards.

Ms Pike spent 30 years working as vice president for a global bank before deciding to take redundancy after a health scare when she was 51. She said she wanted to spend her time on something more meaningful.

'I joined a doctors' surgery as receptionist to gain patient experience that led to me applying for the social prescriber role with Help and Care,' Ms Pike said.

'It was a new role that had to be introduced across the PCN to engage with the GPs, nurses, frailty team, community hospital, social services and other charities.'

She added that the role allowed her to use the skills she'd learned in the corporate world to implement new processes and build strong networks and partnerships in order to provide personalised care to patients in the area.

Social prescribing awards

Other winners in the awards, which were organised by the National Association of Link Workers, included Ethna Parker, wellbeing service lead in Darlington PCN, County Durham, who was named Social Prescribing Manager of the Year.

The Social Prescribing Programme of the Year award went to Enable Leisure and Culture in Wandsworth, south west London. The not-for-profit organisation runs a social prescribing service that operates in GP practices across the borough, alongside specialist link workers in adult social care and cancer services and those that work with young people.

The service also runs a grant scheme to help organisations in the area that receive social prescribing referrals to expand their capacity.

Outside Edge Theatre, the UK's only theatre company and participatory arts charity that delivers social prescribing activities focused on addiction, received the Community Group of the Year award.

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