Medical Social Work (Obair Shóisialta Leighis)

The role of the Medical Social Worker is to assist patients and families resolve any social, practical or emotional difficulties that impact on their ability to cope with their illness.

Medical Social Workers also facilitate discharge and liaise with members of community services, both statutory and voluntary, to arrange services for patients.

We work closely as part of the multi disciplinary team to advocate on behalf of patients and families in relation to their needs and wishes that impact on both their health and welfare.

The Medical Social Worker provides a safe, confidential and supportive service.

The Medical Social Workers works as part of the Multidisciplinary team within Medicine for the Elderly. We offer a Medical Social Work Support service to inpatients and outpatients attending MISA services.

What do we do?

When a Medical Social Worker meets with a patient they will assess their support needs and concerns. As part of our assessment we will talk to the patient about:

How their circumstances have changed:

  • their support network at home,
  • their current support needs,
  • any risks/concerns related to their current situation.

The Medical Social Worker may provide support, information and make referrals to a number of relevant services if needed.

Services available

  • Planning discharge home and co-ordinating community services
  • Long term care planning, respite and nursing home application where required
  • Patient and family education regarding coping with illness
  • Individual counselling, group work, work with families and carers
  • Information on benefits and entitlements, housing and social welfare
  • Referral to other services where appropriate

Appointment Instructions

If you wish to make an appointment to see a Medical Social Worker you can contact the Social Work Department directly and they will give you the contact number for the relevant MSW and /or ask the MSW to make contact with you.  Each Medical Social Worker keeps their own appointments.

Referral Procedure

Referrals are made by Nursing staff or Medical teams. Patients can ask nurses and/or doctors to arrange for them to see a Medical Social Worker. Patients or family members can also contact the Social Work Department directly to make an appointment.

Opening Hours:

8:30am to 4:45pm Mon – Fri

Contact Details:

(01) 416 2565 / (01) 416 2566

Medical Social Work Department,
St. James’s Hospital,
Dublin 8
Fax: 01 410 3431