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Renal Social Work: A patient view. The lived experience of kidney patients and their engagement with specialist adult renal social work services in North Wales

Renal Social Work: A patient view. The lived experience of kidney patients and their engagement with specialist adult renal social work services in North Wales

 

The CHALLENGE

Although renal social work is an established part of the wider renal multi-disciplinary team (MDT) (BRS, 2020), very little research has been undertaken into the particular value to the patient of specialised social work support and the impact on their psychosocial care needs.

Recent articles highlight the need for fresh new studies into the role of the renal social worker and the work they do as a research priority.

This study seeks to explore the patient’s experience of social care support within the current model of service delivery in North Wales, to inform and develop national best practice models and generate a greater evidence base of social care need to influence the focus of social work provision.

 

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The study aims to examine the lived experience of renal patients and their engagement with specialist adult renal social work services in North Wales.

The objectives of the study are fourfold:

  • To identify the psychosocial care needs of kidney patients through their lived experience
  • To understand if the social care support which is delivered predominantly by renal social workers for kidney patients in North Wales, meets their needs within the current intervention level assessment system
  • To identify what aspects of social care may be delivered by other members of the MDT
  • Increase the evidence base of renal social work and better understand the psychosocial needs of kidney patients to inform best practice models of social work and social support provision

 

PLAN OF INVESTIGATION

The study is qualitative in design using in-depth interviews to draw out and capture the individual experience and voice of the patient receiving social support. Alongside the qualitative data the research will draw upon and synthesise the naturally collated adult social work service data to examine and analyse 12-month service activity providing a contextual frame for the qualitative findings.  

 

IMPACT

The research will benefit the renal population in several ways:

  1. Heightened insight into the social care issues faced by those living with kidney disease
  2. Increased understanding of the renal social work role
  3. Awareness of whether the intervention levels can assist practice
  4. Show how some psychosocial support can be offered by different members of the MDT to ensure a more timely and appropriate response for patients.

  

RESEARCHER

Andrew Barnett. Andrew.barnett@wales.nhs.uk 03000 847290 / 07583 069908

I am a renal social worker at Wrexham Maelor Hospital and have worked in renal for 8 years. I support all patients under nephrologist care including CKD, dialysis, transplant and conservative management.  I have a Diploma and a Masters in Social Work.

I have been an active member of the nationwide BASW renal social work group for several years. Being part of a recent larger, quantitative study into our role has inspired me to seek the patient’s voice on the support we provide and to ensure that their views are fully highlighted and reported.

SUPERVISORS

Professor Paula Ormandy, School of Health and Society, Salford University

Dr Julie Morton, School of Health and Society, Salford University

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