Social work for families and carers

What is a specialist palliative care social worker?

Specialist palliative care social workers at St Richard’s Hospice specialise in working with adults living with a serious progressive illness and their families. 

Our team of Specialist Palliative Care Social Workers are experienced in helping people deal with the impact of what is happening to them.  We recognise when people are struggling and need support to help sort out any needs or difficulties arising from their particular situation.

What do specialist palliative care social workers do?

We are experienced in working across health and social care and work in partnership with the people we support, working alongside other professionals, organisations and services.  

We work with people with a diverse range of needs arising from their age, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social status, religious and/or cultural circumstances.

This support can include:

  • Providing emotional and social support for the patient and/or their family (including children) to support them in adjusting to their situation. This can include planning on how to talk to children about the illness and future plans.
  • Providing practical support, information, advice and signposting to other services (both within and outside to the hospice). This can include support in accessing appropriate care, in the home or elsewhere, whether this is self-funded, via social care or continuing healthcare funding.
  • Providing advocacy for people to help them make the decisions that they want and get the support they need. Also supporting patients and families with challenging situations that they may face. This can include planning for a time when patients may find decision making harder and ensuring patients remain safe within their home or care setting.
  • Using relevant legislation to protect the rights and dignity of patients and their families. 

How can this help me?

  • Support can be provided at a time and location to suit the patient and family, either by phone, virtually, at the hospice, or at school (or a suitable alternative venue as agreed by all parties).  
  • Support can be a one-off conversation or on-going regular contact, depending on the patient’s / family’s needs.
  • Our close working relationships within the hospice enable easy access to other support such as counselling, citizen’s advice, community volunteers, complementary therapies etc. Close working relationships with external agencies enable us to signpost and refer on when we agree this with you to services. 
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