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In the October - December 2015 edition of Sanctuary Social Work News, we catch up with an adult social worker to find out what a typical day in a complex assessment team is like. 



8. 30 a.m.

My first job of the day is to get up-to-date with the emails, voicemails and news that are relevant to my working day; particularly information around the implementation of the Care Act 2014 and how it impacts my work. If there is anything that requires action from my emails / voicemails I start working on this straight away. However, if the phone rings and there is an emergency, I must make a decision to prioritise the queries accordingly.

10 a.m.

I receive a duty call about an elderly lady with early onset dementia who had used her microwave to warm her bra. Fortunately, a friend was present and was able to keep her safe. The lady’s allocated social worker was on annual leave, so I was needed to undertake an emergency home visit to determine her safety. Myself and a community assessment officer went to visit the client and we discussed the incident with her. She said she didn’t know anything about it and said “who on earth would put their bra in the microwave?!” We ensured the microwave was removed and assessed her home environment and risk management. After spending some time with this lady, it was clear her support package was in need of an increase after determining she had varying capacity under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It was imperative that the warden of the complex she lived in was informed about her increased needs. When my colleague and I returned to the office, we shared the information with the team manager and contacted the care company to have the support package increased. This ensured the additional needs were met. A request was then sent to the social worker to reassess the lady upon their return to work two days later. I was able to contact the warden, care provider and client for the two days to ensure she was safe and cared for until her worker returned from annual leave.

1 p.m.

I receive a call from the son of an elderly lady who has been cared for by her husband. However, her husband had been admitted to hospital with pneumonia and required alternative care for his wife. I left the office and went straight out to undertake a needs assessment and capacity assessment for the client. She was deemed as having capacity and was able to make her own decision about her care. It was agreed that the lady would go into respite for a short break until her husband was discharged from hospital. A further assessment would be required at this time to determine whether there was a need for support in the home to ensure the welfare and safety of them both. At the point of discharge, an assessment would also be completed for the husband as a carer in his own right, under the Care Act 2014, to determine what service provision he could be offered to reduce his need for support as a carer.

3 p.m.

While back at the office, I am able to ensure all my case recording is up-to-date from the tasks completed today and the relevant workers / professionals are updated where appropriate. I then receive a call from the adult safeguarding team to inform me of a safeguarding alert that has been put onto the system. When I receive such calls it is my job to investigate the alert to determine what, if any, action needs to be taken. I start by contacting the person who raised the alert. In this case it was a senior member of staff from a residential home. A resident had made a complaint that a member of night staff had asked to borrow £20 and would repay it when they got paid at the end of that week. The resident made the allegation the next day stating that the money was not repaid. This is similar to previous allegations mad e by the individual and they were unfounded when investigated. The individual has severe dementia and was deemed as lacking capacity to manage his finances; a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard was in place around this. His finances are managed by financial protection and although this resident has no access to his money and therefore could not give any to a member of staff, every allegation must be investigated and a written report produced. After gathering this information, it was clear that there was no urgent action required from me and the details were passed to the allocated social worker for their information. 

5 p.m.

My day comes to an end and I have to ensure my recordings are up-to-date, any action that needed to be taken has been done, and information has been shared where needed. It is essential that all paperwork containing client information is securely stored away and my system is logged off and shut down. I use the 40 minute drive home to reflect on my day and plan in my head what needs to be done when I return to the office. I also ask myself if there is anything I would do differently or what positives I can take from my day. It’s important that I feel confident I have done all I can to safeguard an individual’s welfare and any decisions are made in their best interests.

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