Social Work in Accident and Emergency Departments: A Better Deal for Older Patients' Health?

Eileen McLeod, Paul Bywaters, Matthew Cooke

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    16 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Well-established internationally, the current development of social work in UK accident and emergency (A&E) departments is part of a conjoint health/social care policy drive to divert older people from 'unnecessary' admission to acute hospital care on social grounds. However, from older service users' standpoint, the prime criterion for assessing A&E social work is not its powers of diversion, but its contribution to optimum health and social care. Our account indicates that A&E based social work can provide important benefits, including help with negotiating the A&E environment and readier access to social services. Nevertheless, continuing professional-service user power imbalances, together with shortages in health and social care services, undermine its positive contribution both within A&E and following discharge. Notably, under-resourced community based health and social care can lead to services implemented through A&E, swiftly unravelling. This has serious consequences for older service users facing interlinked health and social problems, and may be implicated in re-attendance at A&E.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)787-802
    Number of pages16
    JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
    Volume33
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2003

    Fingerprint

    Social Work
    Hospital Emergency Service
    accident
    social work
    Health
    Delivery of Health Care
    health
    Social Problems
    Negotiating
    Public Policy
    mobile social services
    Accidents
    shortage
    Emergencies
    community

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

    Cite this

    Social Work in Accident and Emergency Departments : A Better Deal for Older Patients' Health? / McLeod, Eileen; Bywaters, Paul; Cooke, Matthew.

    In: British Journal of Social Work, Vol. 33, No. 6, 01.09.2003, p. 787-802.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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