£3.6 million over three years to sustain vital services.
An additional £3.6 million of funding over three years is being provided by the Scottish Government to preserve the existing Community Link Worker (CLW) programme within Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership.
Community Link Workers offer one-to-one support for issues such as debt, housing and loneliness, reducing pressure on GPs which allows them to focus on patients’ medical needs. Community Link Workers are particularly valuable in areas of high deprivation where poverty and inequality contribute to poor health.
The Scottish Government reinforced its commitment to CLWs in this year’s Programme for Government and is taking forward work to ensure that CLW services are consistently available where there is greatest need for their support.
The announcement addresses a funding gap identified by Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership. Funding of £1.2 million a year, on a recurring basis from 2024-5, has been offered for three years - providing staff and practices with stability. This is in addition to the Partnership’s expected Primary Care Improvement Fund allocation for 2024-25 and will ensure that the number of posts remain at current levels.
Health Secretary Michael Matheson said:
“This additional investment into Community Link Workers, to address a funding gap identified by Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership, reinforces our commitment to narrowing health inequalities in the city by ensuring this valued element of primary care support continues to thrive.
“GPs in the city have made very clear how much they depend upon Community Link Workers to help them ensure that patients get the care and support they need.
“I am grateful for the constructive collaboration we have had with Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership and am pleased we have been able to reach this solution. I hope this decision brings peace of mind, not just to the staff whose posts were at risk, but for GPs, patients and communities who rely on this vital service.”
The Community Link Worker programme aims to bridge the gap between General Practices and communities. As well as working directly with patients, link workers keep practice staff up to date with what’s going on in the community. This helps practice staff to signpost patients to relevant resources and support. CLWs also work with organisations in the local community to develop and promote available services and support, and help identify gaps in provision.
Most funding for Community Link Worker services across Scotland comes from the Primary Care Improvement Fund.
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