NHS Highland is running a series of articles which puts the spotlight on people who work in healthcare across the area.
Answering the questions this week is Sarah Cardno, a community link worker with Support in Mind Scotland working in Skye.
Q. What is a Community Link Worker?
A. We are part of the Primary Care multi-disciplinary team working across Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross. We support patients to link in with community groups to help with their mental health and wellbeing, as well as their general health.
We receive referrals from the GP practice and work closely with each patient to identify what support they require and help them access the right community resource for them. We also identify any barriers which may be in place for patients to access support and work with partners to tackle these issues.
Q. What has the response been from patients?
A. It has been positive, and I think they value the person-centred approach that we have. There is no “one-size fits all” approach to this service, and every patient will require different support needs. It’s important that we listen to what our patients are telling us, and for us to build a support package which best meets their needs.
Q. How has the Covid-19 pandemic had an impact on how the service is delivered?
A. It certainly had a direct impact in patients being able to access support groups or one-to-one support. I think a lot of our patients have felt isolated throughout the pandemic, and this has had an impact on their mental health and wellbeing. It is more vital than ever before for us to build relationships with community groups, primary care and our patients to ensure the communities we have in Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross are supported to recover from the pandemic.
Q. What is your background?
A. I worked in the third sector for five years and was an administrator for Skye and Lochalsh Young Carers, so I have done a lot of work with local community groups in the area. I absolutely love the way these groups work together and it is a pleasure to put local people in touch with these community resources.
Q. What is the most enjoyable part or your role?
A. I love being a part of people’s journeys and helping them find the tools they need to support their health and wellbeing.
Q. What are the most challenging parts of your role?
A. I think our remote and rural location presents the biggest challenge, however we have so many amazing communities across Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross and we have an incredible ability to work together to overcome any challenges we face.
This content is published in association with NHS Highland