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Care and Compassion in Hospital Social Work

Phillips, Carrie (2024) Care and Compassion in Hospital Social Work. In: CASS Public Lecture Series (28th February 2024), 28 Feb 2024, University of Sunderland. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)


Supporting safe discharge from NHS hospitals is often a role undertaken by social workers, but previous research demonstrates that the role and contribution of social work to the hospital can be difficult to identify. I am interested in the factors that impact on the practice of hospital social workers, and how they view their role in the hospital. This lecture presents initial findings from my PhD, which has involved freedom of information requests to local authorities and NHS Trusts, semi-structured interviews with two hospital social work teams, and an online survey, completed by hospital social workers across the UK. Initial findings presented here include the advantages and disadvantages conferred by the separation of health (NHS) and social care (usually local authority); and the central importance of care and compassion in the work social workers undertake. I draw on Ethics of Care to illustrate the social work role and the way in which social workers strive to take a holistic approach to quality-of-life following hospital admission. Social workers recognised person-centred care from NHS colleagues, but felt that their unique contribution was to take a broader and longer view that prioritised personal and relational autonomy.

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More Information

Uncontrolled Keywords: Social work; hospital; ethics of care
Depositing User: Carrie Phillips


Item ID: 17426
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Carrie Phillips: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2024 08:58
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2024 09:00


Author: Carrie Phillips ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Lesley Deacon
Thesis advisor: Daniel Burrows

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences > Centre for Applied Social Sciences


Social Sciences > Health and Social Care

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