Put yourself forward and get recognition for the good work that you do, says Jonathan Sly as he reflects on winning the Adults Team of the Year accolade at the 2013 Social Worker of the Year Awards.
Jonathan is manager of Bracknell Forest Council’s Hospital In-Reach team, which scooped the award last year in recognition of their work in effectively planning and managing hospital discharges.
“We were very, very proud to be shortlisted but then to go on and win the award was just amazing really,” says Jonathan. “It had such a positive effect on the team and we were really pleased to get recognition for the services that we provide.”
The team was formed as a pilot in 2011 and aimed to build strong relationships with three local acute hospitals, in order to achieve safe and successful discharges for service users. It comprises an assistant care manager, a senior social work practitioner and three social workers.
“Each social worker is responsible for one individual hospital and that allows them to form relationships and maintain those links,” says Jonathan.
“It is a small team, but they are incredibly passionate and enthusiastic about what they do and committed to getting it right.”
The team’s achievements include their above average performance on the percentage of people who stay in the community 91 days after discharge, with 88.8% remaining versus the national average of 81.5%, as well as boasting a low number of delayed discharges.
“People are not having to wait for long periods for things to happen, we are getting them out as quickly as we can and that makes all the difference really,” he says.
Since winning the award, the team have continued to develop integrated ways of working with their acute partners, and working more closely with hospital therapists has been key to this.
“People’s needs don’t always fit easily into social care or health so it is about building on those skills that the team have and developing those links – working with the therapists adds another reference point and another person to talk to,” says Jonathan.
Adding a final word of encouragement for this year’s nominees, he says: “The awards are a fantastic event and we were bowled over by the excitement building up to the ceremony.
“It is important to promote good work and effective ways of working, so if you think you’ve got a really special service get out there and show people.”
The deadline for entries for the Social Worker of the Year Awards is Friday 5 September. Download an entry form.