Granddaughter visiting grandmother in her 70s wearing a protective face mask standing indoors at home and touching window with hand to her granddaughter outdoors in times of COVID-19, granddaughter is wearing mask and gloves.

How coronavirus changed the face of one social work team

This past year has been unprecedented. With increased pressure on teams to quickly adapt the way in which services operate, the support social workers have provided has been invaluable.

And one department which rose to the challenge is the high needs team.

Over the last year, the high needs team have been critical in overseeing complex care arrangements.

The team is made up of a number of social workers who work closely and collaboratively with colleagues across adult social care, providing specialist guidance to ensure that those people who require the most complex care and support are able to access it.

The team promotes a focus on people’s strengths and prevents reliance on formal care in order to help to maximise people’s independence as well as ensuring sustainable outcomes for people. But over the last year, they’ve had to carry out this service remotely.

Ian Cook, a paramedic and frequent caller case officer from Yorkshire Ambulance Service said: “The high needs team involvement in complex cases has had an extremely positive effect on decreasing the number of calls patients make to emergency services, especially during the pandemic.

“I believe the high needs team’s identification of patient’s needs and diligent personalised management has created an environment where patients can improve their situation and lead a much happier life.”

Their valuable work has led to numerous amounts of praise and good feedback.

Theresa, whose mum accesses the service, said: “Thank you for all your support on our journey in dealing with my mum’s illness and her needs. You made things happen every time I asked for help which was amazing and it made so much difference to me.”

Trina, the daughter of another lady supported by the high needs team said; “Thank you for everything you did with regards to my mum’s care and the help and advice you offered me direct. I’m so glad I managed to see mum on her birthday and pleased she was in good spirits.”

And each year, Hull City Council is proud to support and stand together with social workers to celebrate World Social Work Day.

Councillor Gwen Lunn, portfolio holder for adult social care, said: “It is evident throughout the pandemic social workers really have gone the extra mile to provide support to individuals, their support network and organisational partners.

“We are extremely proud to be able to recognise the work that they do, and raise awareness around the critically important service they provide to vulnerable adults across the city.”