Lord Lieutenant visits Causeway Hospital Social Work Team

Mrs Joan Christie OBE, Lord Lieutenant of the County of Antrim, last week took the opportunity to meet with the social workers and clerical staff in Causeway Hospital Social Work Team.

The visit provided the opportunity to highlight the valuable role social workers provide within the hospital to protect service users and enable them to live to their full potential within the community.

It provided the Lord Lieutenant with an opportunity to understand the role of the social worker in facilitating safe, appropriate and timely discharges.    This includes exploring a wide range of options that include packages of care, rehabilitation, temporary and permanent placements.  The team also explained the importance of providing patients with choice and empowerment in making decisions about their care.

Mrs Christie, OBE, commented: “Sadly, like so many people in our community, I made my mind up about social work based on the high profile, often negative, press articles that this profession attracts.  I am ashamed of my ignorance and humbled by the reality.

Having spent time with the Hospital Social Work team in the Causeway Hospital I found them to be inspirational. These individual, caring, committed professionals work together as a team supporting their patients, their families and their colleagues. Their work involves meeting families at very difficult times — times when the families themselves are dealing with anxiety, grief and guilt. The social worker wants, where possible, to meet the needs of patients and their families in these often challenging situations. Although they may not always feel our gratitude they return day after day because they recognize just how important their work is.  I want to thank all employees I spoke with for your patience, your professionalism, your grace and your sensitivity.”

Hospital social workers also discussed the challenges of limited resources and balancing expectations to meet peoples assessed need.

Anita White, Assistant Clinical Service Manager for Social Work with the Northern Trust commended the team for their hard work, commitment and continued professionalism particularly in times of increased demand on the service.

Marie Roulston, Executive Director of Social Work, with the Northern Trust commented: “It was such a pleasure to hear from the Lord Lieutenant how the hospital social work team had supported and helped her.  It was a tribute to a team of social workers who are dedicated and committed to providing an excellent social work service to their services users.”

7th October 2016

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