We have to invest in social care and pursue an ambitious preventative agenda to reduce health inequalities across Glasgow.

Our GP practices and community pharmacies represent 90% of all patient contact with the NHS and therefore, play a central role in supporting the health of the city’s population. It is more important now than ever that investment in primary and community care is prioritised.

We welcome the announcement of multi-million pound funding from the Scottish Government to continue the community links programme across Glasgow after campaigning by GPs, trade unions, MSPs and councillors.

Scottish Green Party councillors Lana Reid-McConnell and Anthony Carroll raised with Scottish Government Ministers, as well as MSPs, their concerns about the serious situation facing community links workers in Glasgow, and the vital preventative investment they provide to the city.

Scottish Green councillors have also consistently shown support for trade unions, including backing the GMB’s view that the city cannot put a price on the work done by Community Links ¬Workers.

It has to be acknowledged that the Deep End GP Network has worked tirelessly in recent months to keep this issue at the top of the Scottish Government’s agenda.

There has been a strong emphasis on supporting staff under considerable pressure and helping to prevent burn-out.

Councillor Lana Reid-McConnell, Health Spokesperson, has highlighted how this investment is needed to support hundreds of patients with a huge range of issues they may be facing including emotional and financial hardship. Community Links Workers have a significant impact in some of our most disadvantaged communities by preventing further ill health.

In addition, Councillor Anthony Carroll, Community Spokesperson, has also focused on supporting the calls of the health sector and its workers by pressing the Scottish Government for funds to keep these posts going for the next three years. It is recognised that long-term, sustainable financial investment for Community Links Workers is essential as part of Glasgow’s health and social care services.

When times are financially tough for people with long-term health conditions and their carers, community links workers can offer crucial support and assist individuals to access the expertise they need.

To reduce health inequalities, we have to support our health and social care services to work with more families and marginalised communities to address the cost of living pressures. Community links workers are more critical than ever by empowering families to overcome any financial barriers to accessing local services.

Many patients can encounter substantial barriers to health improvement including lack of knowledge of what is available, lack of confidence, and social isolation.

Underpinned by strong partnerships, community links workers create better connections between GP practices and community organisations to make a difference for patients with complex health issues.

This work can help people to receive the required support to prevent the need for emergency services or hospital admission.

By investing in and promoting the role of community links workers, we can take a significant step towards fostering a more economically inclusive society where all Glaswegians have the opportunity to thrive.