Critical Hospital Social Work Practice sheds light on the fast-paced, high pressure role of the hospital social worker. At a time of public concern over the state of the NHS and the needs of a growing older population, the hospital social worker’s job is more important than ever. Yet, it is poorly understood and often overlooked by policy makers, managers and other professionals.
Employing social theory to make sense of the contemporary context of health and social care, this book highlights the vital role played by social workers in planning complex hospital discharges. It provides an in-depth account of the activities of a typical hospital social work team in the UK, drawn from rigorous ethnographic fieldwork, and contrasts this with research evidence on hospital social work practices around the world. The author points towards exciting new directions for health-related social work and social work’s potential to develop critical gerontological practice.
This book will be useful to social work students and practitioners working in hospital settings and with older people in general. It will also be of significant value to policy makers and academics who are interested in developing innovative approaches to meeting the needs of the ageing population.
Part I: Key issues in hospital social work
Chapter One: Hospital Social Work in Context
Chapter Two: A Brief History of Hospital Social Work
Chapter Three: The Current State of Hospital Social Work
Chapter Four: Using Research in Social Work
Part II: An ethnographic account of hospital social work
Chapter Five: Social Work in the ‘Iron Cage’
Chapter Six: Is it still social work?
Chapter Seven: The Social Work ‘Cuckoo’ in the Hospital ‘Nest’
Chapter Eight: Conclusions