How devolution is affecting social care: Una Macauley, social work manager, Northern Ireland

Una Macauley, social work manager for over 65s at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, talks about her experiences.

“In 2007 six trusts (consisting of four hospital trusts which provided acute health services and two community trusts which provided community health and social services) merged into one in Belfast.

“I think the structure is one of the system’s strengths. It’s a more seamless service from the acute side (of health services) right through to the community side. I’m responsible for older people’s local services in the community and I’m responsible for three elderly care wards in the hospital.

“Social work has a strong voice here. It’s mandatory that there’s a social worker at director level in trusts and because we work in an integrated structure we have organised ourselves so that we have a social care forum where we discuss issues relating to social work. This is the biggest trust in the UK. We are very conscious that we don’t want the voice of social work to be lost and we have a fairly robust structure to deliver on that.”

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