The following article shows the learning from GPs regarding the importance of link workers and other similar roles regarding inequalities in health and health care.
We hear a lot about the health inequalities in this country, but how does it actually manifest itself?
GP’s are at the front line of primary care and GPs with practices in the most disadvantaged communities probably will have some pretty well informed ideas about what’s needed. The Deep End Group – a national network of these GPs – has published a short report highlighting what they think is needed to improve health in these communities – and it’s not more GPs.
A few key points from the report highlighted:
- the impact of the pandemic has on their community, with one GP warning of increased drug use and giving out more emergency kits to reverse drug overdoses “than I care to count”.
- Another doctor revealed that despite the move to holding more consultations online, only around 30% of video appointments worked due to technology issues and language barriers.
- “Child poverty is increasing and we must do more than pay lip service to that and other adverse consequences of the pandemic.”
- A call to double the number of community link workers, who can refer patients on to support in communities. One GP quoted in the report said their link worker had been “invaluable” and had helped a “huge range” of patients, including by referring people on to welfare advice.
- The need to have a practice-based Financial Support Workers is very high.
- New way of working might leave patients who can’t keep up with the digital changes behind.
- Others warned of the effects lockdown was having on wider wellbeing, with a rise in mental health problems and drug use.
You can read the entire article and report here.