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The Society for Children
and Adults with Learning
Disabilities and their Families

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DoH publishes Interim Report on Named Social Worker Pilot Scheme

We have been alerted today by press releases from both the Department of Health  and SCIE that the DoH has published an interim report ‘Reflect and Refine’ on the Named Social Worker pilot scheme.

This is how the DoH describes the scheme: 

The Department of Health commissioned the Innovation Unit in partnership with the SCIE to deliver the Named Social Worker pilot project in six sites as part of efforts to strengthen the rights of service users and their families.

This project is exploring what a named social worker might look like for people with learning disabilities, autism or mental health issues, however, for the 6 months of the pilot, all of the sites are focusing on people with learning disabilities.

The sites will have the opportunity to develop the practice, devise how impact is measured and refine a NSW service model. Each site will be responsible for developing their plan, with assistance and coaching from the Innovation Unit and SCIE team.

This second, Reflect and Refine report provides more information about how each of the 6 sites are getting on, detailing the specifics of what they consider the role to entail as well as some of the lessons they are learning through implementation and their further thoughts on evaluation.

Our third and final report will focus on evaluation, whilst here we look at what it means to be a learning organisation, being responsive and adapting through experience.

People with autism, learning disabilities and mental health issues – and their carers – often have to face the challenge of having a lack of continuity of social workers. It can be frustrating and it can lead to bad physical health. A new initiative – the Named Social Work pilot scheme – is addressing this by creating the role of a single named social worker. An interim report on the project’s progress is launched today.

The project is being piloted in six sites, concentrating on learning disability, as part of efforts to improve choice, control and outcomes for service users. Critically, the plan is to do what’s known as ‘preventative work’ by supporting people to avoid unnecessary hospital appointments and referrals to assessment and treatment units, to a minimum. The six areas are in Calderdale, Camden, Hertfordshire, Liverpool, Nottingham and Sheffield.

Rescare obviously takes a special interest because the pilot sites are ‘focusing on people with learning disabilities’. At a more personal level, the author of this post has an adult son on the autistic spectrum with learning disabilities, who no longer has an allocated social worker. I cannot describe how frustrating it now is to deal with whoever is on duty within the local authority’s Learning Disability Team…

The report can be downloaded from here on the the SCIE website

(free, but will require simple MySCIE registration for access).

 

 

 

This media release from the SCIE is worth a read if only for some of the quotes:

“Sometimes people can feel like they’re passed from pillar to post and so it’s great that the NSW pilots are building continuity into the lives of people most in need of care and support. It seems like common sense to have a named worker but in busy organisations where there’s a natural turnover of staff it can be difficult to get this right.” Tony Hunter, SCIE Chief Exec.

Indeed… When has common sense ever come into it?

 

RESCARE

The Society for Children and Adults
with Learning Disabilities and their Families

 

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