8 Responses to Reinstate hospital social workers to improve discharge outcomes, PSWs urge Barclay

  1. Chris Sterry January 18, 2023 at 4:21 pm #

    To some extent, I agree, but the real problem is the dire lack of sufficient social care, mainly due to the long-standing lack of funding for social care which means the pay rate for social care workers is so low as to not encourage more to enter the care profession. But it is not just the pay rate but the whole employment terms and conditions for care workers. This is coupled with the immigration restrictions which are not enabling non-UK workers to come to the UK to enter the care profession either short-term or long-term.

    This is all down to current Government policy although the dire funding covers so many years as no government has funded social care sufficiently, which has led to this current crisis not only in social care but also in the NHS.

    The current amounts of funding to try to solve the NHS bed shortages due to patients not being able to be discharged are way too little and way too late, for to solve, to any degree, it is £billions required and not the £millions currently being offered.

    One may say the country can’t afford it, but in reality, it has to for any hope of saving both social care and the NHS for one can’t exist without the other.

  2. Bernard Marengereke January 19, 2023 at 1:34 pm #

    I totally agree with this assertion as very often people are discharged home or to a care home without proper assessments under the Care Act 2014. This has led to many failed discharges which have in turn lead to an increase in the amount of safeguards being raised following unsafe discharges from the Hospitals. Unsafe discharges have also led to more strain on meagre NHS Resources and increased caseload on already poorly staffed Social Care Teams.

  3. Anonymous January 20, 2023 at 6:23 am #

    Unmet need, unmet need, unmet need. Until we accurately record and measure where we meet need, but not in the best way, we will continue down this path. Social work on wards is not just best practice, it’s essential. In my experience, not many ward staff fully understand mental capacity and their legal responsibilities to the person.

  4. Steve January 20, 2023 at 10:52 am #

    Having worked in a Hospital Social Care Team since 2005, I have seen many changes to the way discharges occur. Being Ward based pre-covid worked well. However the NHS have always fought against the length of time it took our services to source appropriate care.
    On the basis of the current turn-over of patients being discharged (inappropriately or otherwise), it is unlikely the NHS and central Government will allow a return to Ward based assessments.
    The NHS will always be a priority for the voting public, whereas Social Care will always be the ‘Second Class Citizen’, falling in line with the machinations of political Spin Doctors.
    It’s only when the public find themselves in a position to actually need social care that they realise how awful the whole process is.
    Up to that point, people tend to believe the only use for Local Authorities is to fill potholes…….

  5. Jacqui January 20, 2023 at 5:37 pm #

    This is all very accurate – paying peanuts will never work in social care. I have been a manager in social care and a QSW and find, to date, my local councils are so rigid and blinkered they are happy to employ agency staff ( and let them take the rap when something goes wrong) that they will not offer me work even though I have approached them directly. Sadly I suspect this is ageism and disabled prejudice – at one ‘interview’ I was told I could not access a ground floor office or have a laptop although I couldn’t climb the stairs, and at another virtual interview told I could use the goods lift. The interviewers are still in post. Reasonable adjustments don’t exist if agency, and direct host applications don’t get a reply, yet I was added to the list in the pandemic without consultation…. Enough said.

  6. Elizabeth January 21, 2023 at 4:51 pm #

    I worked in a Hospital Discharge Team for 21 years prior to my retirement. This was attached to a busy London Hospital which also had Discharge Coordinators (paid by NHS Trust) Hospital Social Workers also attended weekly MDMs where each patient was discussed and possible discharge date and care needs. Some wards/consultants did not like the fact that we insisted on a full assessment of need prior to discharge and tried to discharge without support. At the time of my retirement – hospital discharge team could put in up to 21 hours pw care package with a review at 6 weeks to adjust if necessary hours given. I kept in touch with my colleagues and asked how they fared during the pandemic to be told that they were not allowed to do assessments and patients were discharged home without proper care or sent to car homes without being cleared for covid.

    With the reduced funding to local authorities by the government – all care packages now had to be approved of by a panel which has contributed to delays. Our team worked a 7 day week (with extra staff working Friday – Mondays to complete face to face assessments). Local Authorities mainly contract out care services and obviously choose agencies which appear to be ‘cheaper’. The result being that agencies pay their staff a pittance so that they can rake in a small profit. With Brexit, many good workers in care homes and agencies returned to their country of origin which has lead to shortages. Answer can only be that more money is needed by LA so that they can purchase affordable and good quality care.

  7. Anon January 21, 2023 at 10:57 pm #

    I worked in a hospital discharge team for 6 years before covid arrived and I now work in the discharge to assess team. When working on the wards, most people returned home with care or appropriate support. Now we see nurses (discharge co ordinators) responsible for discharge assessments, there are many more people going to care homes for silly reasons. The nurses do not have proper knowledge of mental capacity, their capacity assessments are shocking. They hardly include the views of family even when they have POA, sometimes they do not even include the adults views in the assessment. They are focused on discharges at any cost. We have noticed a huge increase in failed discharges! Lack of equipment, wrong levels of care or no care at all. Very sad to see so I would love to see social workers back on the wards!

  8. Okumu Ogwal January 24, 2023 at 12:22 pm #

    I’m not sure if those suggesting full return of social workers in the hospital are aware of the tasks and the numbers of staff require to make very efficient.

    From my experience there is no one being discharged without mental capacity assessment from hospital
    Discharge to assess, gives time for customers at time to recover a bit at home before full assessment takes place may be within 3 or more weeks. In long run social services find a bit of saving

    I’m worried if those who sit and just read assessments and support plans when done do not know the exact work pressure