"Treatment by a Social Worker"

About: King Edward Memorial Hospital / Maternity

(as a staff member),

Whilst looking after a pregnant lady in KEMH (King Edward Memorial Hospital), I was witness to a Social Worker who came to speak to this lady. The Social Worker stood for a few minutes in the doorway which was quite intimidating. Then she came into to room and sat down and didn't introduce her name. The patient reported feeling powerless, intimidated and the Social Worker inferred the decision was already made, where she said DCP (Department of Child Protection) had become involved in her care, which had never happened before. In my opinion,the Social Worker was very confrontational and immediately asked questions about where the patient had been involved in mental health services before. The patient was so upset and I felt this may hinder her progress in getting well that I reported the incident to a senior staff member on the ward to explain what I had witnessed. This was also documented in the patient's progress notes. I was quite upset from witnessing this seemingly very confrontational Social Worker.

I am concerned about possible repercussions, but more importantly I hope my feedback leads to change, so incidents like this don't occur again. 


Response from Graeme Boardley, Director, Midwifery, Nursing and Patient Support Services, Women and Newborn Health Service, King Edward Memorial Hospital

picture of Graeme Boardley

Dear Concerned about repercussions,

Thank you bringing this matter to my attention. I am sorry that you have had this experience and appreciate you taking the time to raise your concerns.

I have discussed this incident with the leadership team of Social Work who also apologise on behalf of the team. The information you have provided will be used in discussion with the broader team with the view that this is an opportunity to improve our practice.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to my attention.

Kind regards,

Graeme Boardley.

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

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