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Social worker based in a GP practice

Basing social workers in GP surgeries helps increase dialogue and joint working between general practice and social services, improving preventive work with vulnerable patients who can then continue to live independently without admission to hospital.

Basing social workers in GP surgeries helps increase dialogue and joint working between general practice and social services, improving preventive work with vulnerable patients who can then continue to live independently without admission to hospital.



Job description

Social workers aim to maintain the independence of people with debilitating health conditions, such as the elderly, by commissioning a range of services from the local authority and voluntary sector to enable them to stay in their own homes for as long as possible.

Social workers can help organise physical adaptations to a person's home as well as services such as home help and meals on wheels.

Potential recruits

Social workers based in local authority premises.

Training and accreditation

No further training or accreditation is necessary for a social worker to be based in a GP practice.

Salary

£18,000-£26,000

Postholder's verdict

Bernard Bester, senior manager and social work consultant in Walsall, Staffordshire, where social workers are being piloted in GP practices, says the PCT and GPs often need a bit of persuading before accepting social workers into general practices. ‘They can't immediately see the benefits, but within a very short time the GPs have welcomed having the social worker there.

It improves their working relationships. It facilitates much closer communication – joint visits, joint discussions about patients who may be fairly difficult for the GP to manage – and social workers of course bring with them a whole range of resources which they are able to access and for those individuals concerned.

‘We have found there has been a significant increase in the respect and mutual understanding between social workers and GPs as a result of this way of working.'

Social worker based ina GP practice Further information

GPs interested in having a social worker based in their practice should talk to the local authority.
The local authority representative on the PCT's PEC is usually the best place to start.


General Social Care Council
British Association of Social Workers

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