Background The Association of Palliative Care Social Workers highlights the importance of having ‘Social Care Champions’ to work with social care colleagues and promote good practice. The hospice and local authority Adult Social Care Service are working in partnership to jointly employ two specialist palliative care social workers and two specialist palliative care occupational therapists (OTs). They work across the adult social care and hospice settings to support service users, their carers and families to live and die in the place of their choosing where possible.
Aims Using the Care Act (2014) they work to promote wellbeing and quality of life for the people they work with using services from both statutory and voluntary agencies. Sitting within the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) at the hospice as well as within adult social care teams avoids delay, enables better multi-agency working and positive outcomes for service users. It enables creativity, using skills and knowledge of specialist palliative care and social care systems and resources to quickly put things in place for people. It also provides advice to the MDT within the hospice around social care issues including Safeguarding, DOLS and Social Care services. These specialist palliative care social workers and OTs provide education to general social workers and OTs through training, joint working and advice to increase knowledge.
Outcomes It has been helpful in dispelling myths and fears around working with people at the end of their lives and promoting advance care planning within the context of social care. This approach ultimately reaches greater numbers of services users and improves the quality of end of life support to people across the county.
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