The Clinical Support team aims to support patients and families, friends and carers in many different ways.
We can quickly access help and practical advice from our Senior Social Worker who is based at the hospice. Living with a life-limiting illness has an impact on every area of life – practical as well as emotional and psychological. Social care covers a wide area including financial benefits, housing, legal as well as care needs. Support and advice given can give peace of mind as well as practical assistance at a stressful time for patients and their carers.
Support may change through the course of a life-limiting illness. Social care can be delivered at the different stages of the patient pathway and is flexible and timely. Some patients may be reluctant to seek help from outsiders preferring to maintain independence and dignity. This can place unbearable burdens on carers as well as putting those in their care at risk.
Carers, too, may be hesitant to admit they need practical assistance and financial support. The hospice team respects the wishes of patients and their carers and is happy to guide and support when needed. The Senior Social Worker works sensitively with patients and carers to help access support appropriate to their needs and be acceptable to them, with ‘signposts’ to services outside the immediate health care environment.
The Senior Social Worker works closely with the clinical team as well as linking with other organisations when planning for a patient to go home or to a nursing home. Patients’ social needs are quickly assessed and most needs can be met with as little delay as possible.
Social Care is available to anyone affected by a life-limiting illness who is known to Willowbrook Hospice. This includes those known through the InPatient Unit, Well Being Service, OutPatient Unit as well as in the community via the Community Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialists in Palliative Care and the Whiston Hospital Specialist Palliative Care team.
Timely help can make all the difference. Recent advice was given to a family who were worried about custody of a young child as the young mother was nearing the end of her life. A local solicitor was contacted and facilitated all the necessary legal procedures.
This family was enabled to fulfil last wishes and with financial help, have one or two day trips to a zoo and a sea life centre. This gave great comfort to the mother and some happy lasting memories for the child.