Injured at work?

Plus Social can link you to support services and community groups to complement your medical recovery

Plus Social is a free program for eligible injured workers who have been unable to return to work, or who have returned to work on reduced hours after an extended period.

Operating in metropolitan centres of NSW, the program aims to improve the wellbeing and social connectedness of injured workers. It provides more options for recovery by supporting participants to access a range of social group activities and local services based on their needs and interests. Examples include relaxation, cooking, art and photography classes, health education, financial counselling, relationship counselling and housing assistance.

Plus Social is based on the proven social prescribing model of care and is Australia’s first ever social prescribing pilot program. It complements the medical care and any other health and support services already being accessed. As a pilot program, referrals are only being accepted for a limited time.

Helping people adjust to unexpected changes beyond their physical health

''I was tired of being at home. I wanted to give something new a go.''

''PCCS are a more personalised service. They got through to what I wanted. They listen.''

Creating a personalised and holistic response

''The program shows injured workers that there are genuine people out there who actually actually do care about them and their social needs.''

Working with people to identify their unmet needs, and find a new way forward

''With PCCS I have gone places I didn't know how to get to.'''

''I've found the social prescribing program so beneficial in helping my recovery. It's also been one of my only positive social connections during the week.''

How does Plus Social work?

The Plus Social program uses non-medical interventions to improve the wellbeing, quality of life and social connectedness of injured workers.

The program works alongside the medical care you are already receiving from your GP and rehabilitation provider, and complements any other health and support services you may be receiving. Plus Social is not a rehabilitation program or Return to Work program.

Plus Social involves a qualified and experienced Link Worker connecting participants to local social activities and services. Link Workers are employees of Primary & Community Care Services and are typically social workers, occupational therapists, nurses, psychologists and overseas trained doctors.

The program runs for 12 weeks. At the end of this period, the Link Worker will talk with you about next steps and will help you secure ongoing support if needed.

Plus Social is a pilot program that is accepting referrals for a limited time. It will be evaluated by the University of Sydney and Southern Cross University to see how effective it has been.

Why get involved with Plus Social?

If you’re an injured worker who wants to improve your wellbeing, our Plus Social program can help. The program aims to help address your social, emotional, mental and practical needs by providing more options for recovery through supporting you to access a range of social group activities and local services based on your needs and interests.

Plus Social is based on the proven social prescribing approach and can help you to:
• Build your support network
• Get you moving and increase your confidence
• Boost your mood.

The program is free of charge and is run independently of your workers compensation claim.

Read about some of the people we’ve already helped through the Plus Social program:

Gatik’s story
Corey’s story
Sophie’s story
Brad’s story

Who can participate in Plus Social?

Plus Social is available to injured workers who have:
• been unable to return to work or who have returned to work on reduced hours
• a current Certificate of Capacity from the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme
• social, practical, mental and/or emotional needs that are impacting their quality of life and can benefit from increased social participation and/or linking to services that aim to meet these needs.

How do I participate in Plus Social?

If you are eligible to participate in Plus Social, you can either contact Primary & Community Care Services (PCCS) directly or ask your GP, rehabilitation provider or allied health professional to refer you. A referral can be made by calling or emailing PCCS, or completing the one page referral form.

How does Plus Social fit with my workers compensation claim?

The Plus Social program is run independently of your workers compensation claim. Your participation in Plus Social does not require approval from your insurer or employer. It is your choice whether you inform your case manager about your involvement.

Participation is voluntary and you can withdraw at any time. Withdrawal from the program will not affect your workers compensation claim in any way.

Plus Social is not a rehabilitation program or a Return to Work program. It is run by Primary & Community Care Services and is funded by the icare Foundation.

Where is Plus Social currently available?

Services are currently available in the Sydney, Central Coast, Newcastle and Wollongong areas.

Do I have to go anywhere to participate?

Yes. You will be encouraged to engage with relevant local social activity groups and support services. This will enable you to tap into a vast network of groups and services (such as relaxation and art classes, financial counselling and housing assistance).

Is there any cost to me when participating in the Plus Social program?

There is no cost to you for social activity participation/registration during your involvement with the program. You can participate in more than one group at any time throughout the program.

The cost of travel for to attend social activities or support services is not included in the program and you will be required to cover these costs. We aim to link you in with activities and services in your local area to minimise your need for travel. If travel cost is an issue, we encourage you to discuss this with your Link Worker.

What is social prescribing?

Social prescribing is similar to the prescription of medication for illness but instead involves the “prescription” of activities and services to improve wellbeing and quality of life.

It’s a relatively new model of care in Australia but has been used widely internationally, especially in the UK. While the evidence base is still emerging, over 50 international studies on social prescribing have demonstrated individual improvements in general health and mental wellbeing, as well as reductions in inappropriate health and social service use.

Specifically, participants in social prescribing programs have experienced improvements in self-esteem, confidence, a sense of control and empowerment, built a wider support network, and have experienced reduced feelings of loneliness and isolation as well as reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Read more about social prescribing.