Journal Article

Welfare Rights Advocacy in a Specialist Health and Social Care Setting: A Service Audit

Jean Levy and Malcolm Payne

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 36, issue 2, pages 323-331
Published in print February 2006 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bch366
Welfare Rights Advocacy in a Specialist Health and Social Care Setting: A Service Audit

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Is a specialized welfare rights service, thought important in social services departments, a valid element of social care services in multi-professional settings in which social work is increasingly incorporated, where social workers often help service users with benefits? An audit of a specialized welfare rights advocacy service, part of social work provision in a large UK hospice, demonstrated inconsistent referral by nursing staff, the main referrers, a large workload including frequent complex cases and achievement of benefits and grants for patients, carers and families substantially in excess of the cost of the service. Annual workload for a forty-eight-bed hospice with 1,600 home care patients was estimated at 976 typical cases with nearly 2,928 contacts; about sixty complex cases annually generated a similar workload in themselves. Provision of specialized welfare benefits advocacy for palliative care patients is found likely to meet a substantial need and to require specialist provision. This may be true of other multi-professional services incorporating social workers.

Keywords: welfare rights; benefits; advocacy; palliative care

Journal Article.  3430 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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