The route to success in end of life care: achieving quality for social work

Document type
Corporate author(s)
NHS National End of Life Care Programme
NHS National End of Life Care Programme
Date of publication
19 July 2012
Social Work, Social Care and Social Services, Health Services, Older Adults
Social welfare
Material type

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This guide, produced with support from The College of Social Work, raises key questions about social work involvement in the last year of a person’s life. Following the nationally-recognised six-step end of life care pathway, the guide includes key issues and actions for social workers and their managers, top tips, reflective questions, examples of good practice and anonymised case studies. Key messages emphasise that:

  • Social workers have the skills to work with people approaching the end of life and their families and carers
  • Social work support may begin at any stage in the end of life care pathway and often the social worker may be the first professional to recognise that the person is in need of end of life care
  • It is important for managers to support their social workers in engaging with the end of life care needs of service users; this includes facilitating access to end of life care training, resources and systems
  • Specialist palliative care social workers can offer a valuable resource to social workers in other settings through consultation, education and training, as well as receiving referrals as appropriate.

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