"Experience of social work with the elderly in Southend"

About: southend PCT

(as the patient),

I’m based in Southend and work as a social worker with older people. For me the most difficult thing in my work is to get good information sharing between health and social care professionals. For example right now I’m experiencing real difficulty trying to do a continuing health care report for one of my clients who has really clear health needs and I’m getting no where with my requests for information from NHS colleagues. I can’t sort out the budget and so I can’t put a care package together so she can’t get any help. They just never get back to me and that is the most difficult thing about my job. I feel I’m letting my client down but I’ve been let down by my colleagues. She’s getting some help from social services but her health needs – which everyone agrees she has – just aren’t being met.

How could it be improved? Well, by establishing a completely new and improved partnership made up of multi-disciplinary teams from health and social care where information is shared. In a hospital it’s different because it’s much easier to get this multi-disciplinary team working, but it’s hard in the community. And it shouldn’t be because it’s the clients who suffer.

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