Hospital-Based Health Care
OASW plays an active role in responding to issues that have implications for social work practice within hospital-based health care. OASW's Health Care Advisory Group continues to monitor changes in the funding and delivery of social work services within hospitals and community-based health care services. This information has been used to inform advocacy positions taken by the Association on health care issues, particularly as they relate to the provision of social work services and emerging roles for social workers.
Overview of the Health Care Advisory Group Activities/Initiatives:
- Advocacy with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) related to amendments to regulations in the Long-Term Care Homes Act (2007), which came into effect in July 2010, and codified the existing policy that stipulated that the role of LTC placement coordinators be assumed by Community Care Access Centres (CCACs), a role that CCACs had previously been delegated to hospital-based social workers; a major thrust of OASW's advocacy focused on the need for the Ministry, the Local Health Integrated Networks (LHINs) and CCACS to clarify and address the confusion surrounding the parameters of the expanded CCAC role as it related to the ongoing role of social workers with patients with complex care needs awaiting discharge form hospital;
- Ongoing advocacy for the inclusion of social workers in the Health Force Ontario Allied Health Professional Development Fund (an educational fund available to allied health professions who are regulated under the Regulated Health Professions Act and with whom social workers serve on interdisciplinary teams). A role for social workers within this sector was published to highlight core social work skills and to articulate ways in which social work adds value to the mission and goals of the hospital;
- Participated in the consultation with the MOHLTC Lead for Ontario Seniors Strategy, at which time we promoted the role of social workers in providing services to the frail elderly and their caregivers, especially as members of inter-professional teams in the "House Calls" initiative;
- Updated OASW's 2005 role statement for social workers working in hospital-based services; and
- Updated OASW's 2005 role statement for social workers working in primary health care expanding from its current focus on Family Health Teams to encompass Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics and Community Health Centres.
For more information on recent group activities, visit Health Care Advisory Group.