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Interpreting Social Work in Primary Health Care

  • Wynns Hotel, Lr Abbey Street, Dublin
  • 9.15 - 5.30
  • 27 Sep 2013

Price €10 for IASW members, €15 for non-members and €5 for students

The Primary Care Special Interest Group will be holding their conference Interpreting Social Work in Primary Health Care & their AGM on Friday, 27th September. Please see the provisional programme outlined below.


9.15 – 9.30: Registration/Coffee

9.30 – 9.40: Welcome & Introduction

9.40 – 10.20: Rosemary Cunniffe – 'Social Work in Primary Care - Issues and Experiences’

Rosemary Cunniffe has worked as a lecturer, fieldwork organiser & practice tutor in the UCD School of Applied Social Science over many years. She has been closely involved in the training and support of practice teachers. She undertook her professional social work education in the University of Edinburgh and has worked as a social worker in mental health in Guys Hospital, London and in fostering and adoption services in both Montreal and Dublin.

10.20 – 11.00: Mr. John Hennessy - Future Plans for Primary Care

John Hennessy, National Director Primary Care Services

John Hennessy is a Cork native who has almost 30 years of health service experience in senior management and frontline roles.  In his role of Regional Director of Operations John managed health services across the nine counties of the HSE West Area.  He played a lead role in the reorganisation of acute health services in the West including the Mid West hospital services and the Galway Roscommon hospital services.  His constant focus was on patient safety, reducing risk and improving outcomes for acutely ill patients.

John has been key to the ongoing quality improvement initiatives in the health service including the preparation of services for the accreditation and licensing of hospitals and the HIQA registration of HSE long term residential services. He has overseen the introduction of Primary Care Teams; improved access to GP out of hours services; established crisis intervention teams and strengthened relationships between primary care services and the hospitals. 

He has delivered the Service Plans for the HSE West area in challenging times and has overseen the implementation of the Croke Park Agreement to ensure efficiencies and the maximum use of the allocated resources.  This has led to improved productivity and reduced costs.

He has recently been appointed as National Director for Primary Care and has responsibility for Primary Care, Social Inclusion, Civil Registration, Oral Health and Medicines Management.  This includes responsibility for a budget of approximately €3bn and over 11,000 staff.  Primary Care Services includes the services of the Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS) which provides a wide range of primary care services to the general public, through over 6,660 primary care contractors across 12 community health schemes.  In 2012 services were provided to over 3.4m people in the community by doctors, pharmacists, dentists and opticians with an associated expenditure of €2.517bn

11.00 – 11:15: BREAK

11.15 – 11.55: Dr. Philip Crowley – 'Quality in Primary Care and the Safety in the Role of Social Workers.'

Dr. Crowley is HSE National Director, Clinical and Patient Safety

11.55 – 12.35: Dr. Catherine Darker - “The Social Determinants of Health – International Evidence of the Impact of Social Work in Improving Health Outcomes”.

Dr. Darker is Adelaide Assistant Professor of Health Services Research in the Department of Public Health & Primary Care, Trinity College Dublin. 

12.35 – 12.45: Questions

 12.45 – 1.30: LUNCH

1.30 – 2.45: Workshop 1: Liz Waters – “Practical Capacity and Consent"

This workshop will focus on definitions of capacity and consent; practical assessment and task analysis in working with voluntary clients; and consider methods by which PCSWs can build capacity in service users using case scenarios to illustrate.

2.45 – 3.00: BREAK

3.00 – 4.30: Workshop 2: Noel O’Driscoll and Deirdre Carney - "Self-care, Beyond Words...Into Experience" 

In considering the PCSW role as being one were many social workers currently work in isolation and in single handed posts, participants will be invited to consider for themselves their current experience of self care with a view to providing a space for them to identify ways of authentically caring for themselves. 

 4.45: AGM 



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