Guide for referrers

Who can make referrals?
  • GPs and practice staff (within these Primary Care Networks: Caversham, New Reading, Reading Central, Reading Holybrook and Tilehurst Village) and other NHS healthcare professionals
  • Talking Therapies
  • Reading Borough Council Adult Social Care
  • Royal Berkshire Hospital Occupational Therapists
Making a referral
  • To make a referral for a patient please speak to the reception team at your patient’s surgery.
  • If you have a question, please email

Referral criteria

Referrals can be accepted for people:
  • over 16 years old
  • with one or more long-term conditions
  • who need support with mild to moderate mental health issues
  • who are lonely or isolated
  • who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing
  • who are willing to discuss their wellbeing goals

Referrals should be made for people where they would benefit from support around one or more of the following issues: lifestyle, looking after yourself, managing symptoms, work, volunteering and other activities, money, where you live, family and friends, feeling positive.

Referrals cannot be accepted for people:
  • who do not fall into one of the above groups
  • with severe and enduring mental health conditions (unless it’s part of a package of care and has been discussed between the referrer and Social Prescribing Link Worker and agreed as a suitable referral)
  • in palliative care
  • who do not want to engage with the Social Prescribing Link Worker
  • who are being referred mainly for clinical reasons
Further information about the levels of support offered

The Social Prescribing Link Worker will help the patient to identify their personal health goals and link them to activities, support and services locally that support those goals. This, in turn, can support a reduction in their use of GP appointments, calls to 111 and 999, visits to A&E, avoidable emergency hospital admissions and reliance on social care packages.

The Social Prescribing service offers support appropriate to the patient’s needs:
  • Signposting for those people who are looking for specific information about a service or activity, for example, a support group, lunch club, or exercise class.
  • More in-depth support to help someone think about changes that will improve their health and wellbeing. We will arrange an initial appointment to help identify areas in the client’s life where local activities and support could help. Working together, we will agree the client’s health goals and find the support they need and follow up by telephone.
  • Additional support and some regular contact to help them to apply for benefits or access activities etc. This support is offered over a 3 to 6 month period with a final appointment to assess how things have changed.
Promoting Social Prescribing

To promote social prescribing, the social prescriber attached to the surgery can offer leaflets, posters and slides for waiting room displays.  Please email to request promotional materials.


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