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Palliative Social Worker
Where & when do you work?
I work full-time Monday to Friday, and you will find me based on the Inpatient Unit. Occasionally you will find me out and about in the community. This role brings me into contact with those with whom we work throughout the organisation to identify how best I/we can directly and indirectly support people around Cambridgeshire.
I am employed across two organisations: Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and Cambridgeshire County Council (Adult Social Care).
What’s the best thing about what you do?
Knowing that I make a meaningful difference to the lives of others, especially those disadvantaged by systems that create inequality. You cannot take the Social Worker out of me 😊
What has surprised you about what how you and/or your team?
There are no surprises. I know that whatever actions the day presents, the team on the Inpatient Unit are consistently enthusiastic, creative, reliable, persistent and experts in supporting the patients and their families, often with young children. Everything I achieve on the Unit is as a part of this team. As a team we are committed to fulfilling the final wishes of our patients whether it is organising a belated Christmas celebration with family, organising the preparations for a family to renew their Wedding vows or sourcing a tattooist, the list goes on……
Please tell us about your recent awards
I recently received an employee recognition award from my employer, Cambridgeshire County Council (I am seconded from the Council to the Charity). The Employee Recognition Award recognises individual excellence and exceptional commitment to the organisation. I was nominated by a colleague for my hard work and dedication to my role and to the team.
The Social Care Star Award and Employee Recognition Award recognises my role in improving the understanding of palliative care in social work. This is relevant because they are supporting an older and frailer population with life limiting conditions.
What’s next for you and your role at the Charity?
I have been sharing my insights as to the need for increased social care support for patients and their families with senior colleagues in the Local Authority. I’m pleased to share that my colleagues have recognised the need and are going to provide the funding, so that the Charity can employ a second Social Worker to work alongside me, increasing the support the Charity can provide to patients and their families who need this. This will also free me up to do more strategic work to develop longer term investment and partnership strategies to enable us to meet the needs of people we care for.
I shared the vital partnership between the Charity and Cambridgeshire County Council at the Hospice UK conference in November 2023. My poster, titled ‘I’m not dead yet’ explained more about the partnership and it’s benefits to both colleagues and patients and their families.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself that people might not know or be surprised to learn
I feed, by hand, live mealworms to my friend’s robins when she goes away. This is a different take on housesitting and a great way to start and finish the day.