Care & Counselling Department

Our Medical Social Workers attend to patients and families who experience challenges in coping with and managing emotional, psychological, social, environmental and practical issues arising from illness or the sudden onset of traumatic injuries.

Together with the multidisciplinary team, community partners and organizations, we aim to facilitate the recovery and healing process; optimize the well-being of individuals; and enhance family functioning and community reintegration.

SOCIAL WORK CASE MANAGEMENT

Financial & Practical Assistance

  • Referral services for those who encounter financial difficulties
  • Assistance with medical bills for needy patients
  • Assistance with care equipment and non-consumables

Discharge Care Planning & Post-Discharge Follow-Up

  • Assessment of care needs
  • Counsel & educate patients and families on community resources and possible options
  • Co-ordination of arrangements for care plan as identified by patients and families
  • Conduct home visits as required to monitor post-discharge adjustment
  • Provide emotional and practical support

Psycho-emotional Support

  • Evaluation of formal and informal resources
  • Assessment of coping abilities and support networks
  • Provision of appropriate intervention on management of acute, chronic and terminal illness
  • Community networking for continuity of care
  • Advocacy, educational and vocational services

COUNSELLING & THERAPY SERVICES

Care and Counselling offers a safe and private setting where patients can explore and learn to cope with the challenges arising from illnesses or disabilities. Our service operates strictly by appointment. The counselling and therapy services include:

  • individual counselling
  • family therapy
  • couple counselling
  • HIVcounselling
  • disability counselling
  • grief and bereavement support
  • hypnotherapy

CRITICAL CARE MANAGEMENT

It is often a challenging time for patients and their loved ones when patients are inflicted with a critical or life-threatening illness and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

Patients and their loved ones not only have to grapple with the complexity of patients’ medical condition/s and treatment, they also have to deal with a myriad of secondary losses such as the threat of loss of life, functional abilities, employment, income and the like.

As we believe in journeying with our patients and their loved ones through this trying time in their lives, we provide:

  • Timely support to cope with the difficult circumstances
  • Holistic care by addressing their psycho-emotional and social needs
  • Comfort and help to alleviate their anxieties and stress

CRISIS MANAGEMENT & INTERVENTION

Risk assessment, interventions, safety plans, emotional support and psychological first-aid for patients and families with issues relating to:

  • suicide attempt
  • family violence
  • abuse and neglect
  • sexual assault
  • post-trauma

TRANSITIONAL CARE

  • Provide support to patients at their residences for 3-6 months after their discharge from an acute hospital
  • The multidisciplinary team provides follow-up at patients’ homes until they:
    • No longer require follow-up from our service
    • Access step-down care services from Home Nursing Foundation
    • Obtain other home medical care providers for continual nursing care
  • This service aims to minimize re-admission to acute hospitals in the event that post-discharge patients are not well supported with medical care immediately after their discharge from the acute hospital

COMMUNITY HEALTH ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMME

This is a falls prevention programme designed for the community-ambulant elderly. This service aims to detect health problems early for treatment, minimise hospitalisation and premature institutional care. All participants will receive the following services:

  • A comprehensive health screening
  • An exercise programme for 6 months designed by physiotherapist
  • Home safety assessment for participants by occupational therapist
  • Follow-up with modification to improve home safety
  • Case management for patients with psychosocial issues
  • Continued training and support by volunteers with the exercise programme

ADVANCED CARE PLANNING

Advanced Care Planning is a process of planning for your future healthcare needs. We provide discussions with patients to help you

  • Explore the following issues:
    • Your understanding of your medical condition and its potential complications
    • Your concept of living well
    • Your experiences in illness
    • Your values and goals in life
    • Your goals in medical treatment
  • Identify a healthcare proxy who will help make decision on your behalf when you are not able to
  • Communicate your preferences to your loved ones so that they can honor your wishes

GROUP THERAPY & SUPPORT GROUP

Coping with a major or chronic medical condition can be a challenge for patients and family members. Support groups are an important source of psycho-social and emotional support. These groups provide a platform for patients and family members to share experiences and learn how to cope with their condition better. We offer a range of support groups, tailored to the unique needs of the patients and family members we work with.

These include:

  • Brain Tumor Support Group
  • Parkinson’s Disease Support Group
  • Myasthenia Gravis Support Group
  • HIVWomen’s Support Group

EDUCATION & TRAINING

  • Provide clinical supervision to junior social work professionals and undergraduates
  • Provide attachment opportunities to social work undergraduates
  • Teaching undergraduates and postgraduate students at the National University of Singapore, Singapore Institute of Management and Monash University (External Program)
  • Provide in-house training for hospital staff:
  • Counselling skills
  • Management of grief and loss
  • Awareness and issues with interpersonal violence
  • Collaborate with other healthcare professionals in evidence based research to improve healthcare service delivery
  • Conduct evidence-based research in healthcare systems for optimum clinical outcomes in patient care and service delivery