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Head Medical Social Workers - Associate Group of IASW

The purpose of the National Head Medical Social Worker’s Forum is to provide a forum for the development and implementation of best standards among medical social workers in Ireland. The group also functions as an information exchange among heads of departments, as well as lobbying on issues relating to our client group and finally as a support to Head Medical Social Workers in their work.

Aims:        Identify, discuss and develop a stance on the core principles and issues related to the practice of health related social work

  • To agree a position and lobby appropriate bodies on behalf of the clients we work with on issues of concern
  • To identify, discuss and provide guidance on site-specific issues in the everyday practice of medical social work
  • To set appropriate national standards in relation to the practice of medical social work
  • To provide support to members in their everyday work through the discussion of challenges in the practice of medical social work


Recent submissions:

  • CORU Draft CPD Framework
  • Heads of Children First Bill
  • National Consent Policy
  • Advocacy Letter re Medical Cards


Current Action Plan:

  • Updating “Social Work in a Medical Setting Competency Framework”
  • CPD, supervision for Managers and getting ready for registration
  • Caseload weighting

Other issues which recur include:

  • Position of medical social work with regard to the new Child Protection Agency
  • Child Protection Training
  • Home care Packages, Fair Deal Nursing Home Support Scheme, and delayed discharges
  • Elder Abuse
  • Statistics and linking with Healthstat


Functioning of the Group:   The group meets on a bi-monthly basis in St. James’s Hospital. 

Membership: The membership of the group is open to all Head Medical Social Workers or Principal Social Workers in hospitals or hospices throughout the Republic of Ireland. 

Contact Details: The IASW rep for the group is Sheila Mc Crory, contactable through the IASW office. Kieran Buckley and Annemarie Jones act as co-chairs.

Chairperson: Kieran Buckley, St Vincent’s University Hospital and Anne Marie Jones, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, continue as co-chairs of the group.

Secretary: Anne O’Loughlin, National Rehabilitation Hospital.

Rep on IASW Council: Sheila McCrory, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.