Waqas has worked for Darnall Well Being for 10 years as a Senior Health & Wellbeing worker. Recently, he has also taken on the new role of Link Worker. On a typical Link Working day, he comes into the office at 9am, and checks his DWB and NHS emails. He then goes to clinic, in one of the local GP surgeries, and is there until 14.00. At clinic, people are booked in with him for appointments by GPs, Occupational Therapists and District Nurses. A first appointment lasts 45 minutes, with subsequent appointments being 30 minutes. Waqas says “The length of time makes a big difference in helping learn about someone – I have the time to take a holistic approach to helping, and I’m able to take the load of non-medical work away from GPs, by supporting people and connecting them with the right services.”
Waqas deals with all kinds of referrals – he talks here about a typical case where a family contacted the GP because they wanted their parent to go into a care home, but they didn’t know where to start. As a non-medical matter, the GP referred the family to Waqas. He met with the family to get the background to their situation, understand what support they had already, and what issues they were facing. Then he liaised with social services and continued to act the contact for both parties, and the GP, to come back to for more information if needed. He was also able to provide details about groups and support available for the family in the local area.