Social work and end-of-life care

Social work is important in end-of-life care

Archive for the ‘voluntary sector’ Category

A social worker and a grandparent – an important contribution to society

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Jean StogdonAn inspiring life history of a social worker’s contribution to society. And an example of what you can achieve as a grandparent and in your later life.

Written by Malcolm Payne

7 January 2015 at 4:05 pm

Websites for people experiencing bereavement

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Someone asked me for information about useful websites for people experiencing bereavement, and I thought you might find my response useful:

The NHS Choices website is a good resource on bereavement, offering authoritative articles, with good illustrations and a number of useful videos covering the main issues that often come up.

The ‘Moodjuice’ guide, published by the Scottish NHS (which has a good reputation in this area of healthcare) is more informal, and suitable for young people, but is equally authoritative and contains pencil and paper exercises which you can use to think things through. You can use the website, or it downloads as a booklet:

The main voluntary organisation providing bereavement services is Cruse Bereavement Care. From the Homepage:, click on ‘About grief’ and it offers a wide range of information, including downloadable booklets that give more detail.

The best-known organisation for bereavement care for children is Winston’s Wish, which publishes a variety of resources for young people and their parents and carers. The website Homepage: offers a wide range of information; click on ‘supporting you’, and there are lots of books and other activities to download, or buy, especially from the ‘support information’ page. There is also an ‘adult-free zone’ for young people to use. Its stories about young people’s experiences are often helpful. Unfortunately, some people find the Winston’s Wish publications a bit expensive, so check the prices before you buy anything from them.

Macmillan Cancer Support also has a website, which has good information on a range of worries that people have throughout the whole process of being diagnosed, treated for and living with cancer. It is particularly good on the practicalities around and after death; a lot of the information is relevant for people who are experiencing other illnesses

Written by Malcolm Payne

15 May 2014 at 12:49 pm

Tips for voluntary organisations dealing with NHS and social care commissioners

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A legal advice newsletter points out that with voluntary organisations increasingly being commissioned to provide NHS and social care services, they are also increasingly being asked for loads of information, but also need to be supported in doing so. You have to ask, as ministers in Parliament do when asked questions by MPs, whether the cost of collecting the data is justified. If it’s a real drag on service provision, and/or the commissioner won’t pay adequate admin costs, the voluntary organisation should seriously consider saying ‘no’ or ‘pay us for it’. Here are the points the newletter suggests a volorg should consider:

  • The time involved in giving this support. Smaller organisations in particular need to ensure costs are covered.
  • Organisations need to ensure any information they provide is not used out of context or in any way that could damage their reputation.
  • Confidentiality – if the information is not in the public domain, does your organisation have the right to pass it on?
  • Data protection – take care in passing personal data to commissioners as you will need to meet your data protection obligations.

I’ve often thought that voluntary organisations are naive about whether the local NHS or social care administration is on their side: my answer is that of course friendly relationships are necessary, but they also need to accept that volorgs take a business-like approach to  the relationships. Commissioners often think that because they’re paying the volorg staff are inferior in some way and should be expected to jump around doing whatever they decide. Good relationships work from both ends of commissioning; the volorg is not a supplicant, but an equal professional partner in providing a service. The article sees supporting the commissioning relationship as an important role for the commissioner.

Link to the original article on commissioning support


Written by Malcolm Payne

6 January 2014 at 12:13 pm

All-Party Parliamentary Groups relevant to palliative and end-of-life care

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I’ve recently been looking at the work of All-Party Parliamentary Groups on palliative and end-of-life care and have compiled a listing of links to groups.

Link to listing of links to All-Party Parliamentary Groups relevant to palliative and end-of-life care.

Written by Malcolm Payne

26 November 2012 at 11:56 am

Fair playing field review: why ‘fair’ not ‘level’? Build a case for the voluntary/community role

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Link to the Monitor announcement of the ‘Fair Playing Field’ review

Monitor, the new government organisation which is supposed to be regulating the market in the new healthcare system which will come out of the government health and social care reform, is carrying out a review of things that will get in the way of a ‘fair playing field’. Since Monitor’s main function is to manage the market, presumably it will be focusing on stopping NHS bureaucrats or doctor decision-makers from being hostile to the private sector. But these reviews are an opportunity for voluntary organisations, like hospices, and community organisations to have a go at showing how prejudiced both the NHS and private organisations are against the values of voluntary and community involvement.

We really have to build up a case for the value of community and voluntary involvement against the assumption that private sector savings are what it’s all about.

Notice it’s going to be a fair playing field not a level one: I wonder what that means? Fairness that does not mean everyone being treated equally?

Written by Malcolm Payne

15 July 2012 at 4:52 pm