UL Hospitals Group visiting ban extended to March 29 NewsHealthNew Medical Social Work walk in clinic opens in LimerickBy Staff Reporter – March 27, 2018 5321 Advertisement Facebook TAGSEnnis hospitalMedical Social Work walk-in clinicMedical social workerUL Hospitals GroupUniversity Maternity Hospital Limerick Updated Statement UL Hospitals Group Cyber Attack and Cancellations Anne Hegarty, Head of Medical Social Work Services, UL Hospitals Group; Eimear Smalle, Medical Social Worker; Miriam Nolan CMM2, Antenatal Clinic and Ciara Lawlor, Medical Social Worker at the new Medical Social Work Walk-In Clinic at UMHLA NEW Medical Social Work (MSW) Walk-In Clinic has opened at University Maternity Hospital Limerick to provide a more responsive and accessible service to women and their families.The Walk-In Clinic will initially run in parallel with the Monday morning Ante-Natal Clinic (9am to 1pm) and the service at UMHL will expand following the appointment of an additional Medical Social Worker later this year.A second Walk-In Clinic will shortly open in Ennis Hospital to correspond with the Wednesday afternoon (1pm to 4pm) Ante-Natal Clinic there. This will improve access for women in County Clare who heretofore have been referred from the Ennis Ante-Natal Clinic to the Medical Social Work service at UMHL.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Until now, women or their families seeking the support of Medical Social Work within UL Hospitals Group have been referred by a healthcare professional. Last year, there were 510 new referrals from UMHL to the Medical Social Worker . There can be as many as 130 open cases relating to UMHL patients at any one time.“Referrals are made by midwives in the Ante-Natal Clinic, Neo Natal Unit and Post Natal Wards. The difference with the new Walk-In Clinic is that it allows the woman herself or her family member or partner to come directly to our door for whatever inquiry they wish to find an answer to,” explained Anne Hegarty, Head of Medical Social Work Services, UL Hospitals Group.At the new Medical Social Work Walk-In Clinic at the Antenatal Clinic, UMHL, were Ciara Lawlor, Medical Social Worker; Eimear Smalle, Medical Social Worker; Miriam Nolan CMM2, Antenatal Clinic; and Anne Hegarty, Head of Medical Social Work Services, ULHG“In this fashion, we are removing that obstacle of having to go through a professional to access our service. It is about empowerment and we are encouraging women to self-refer for whatever reason or query they may have. Working alongside women to support her wellbeing throughout her pregnancy is key to positive parenting and family health.”Eimear Smalle, Medical Social Worker, UMHL, said the queries were various in nature.“It could be for example a woman who is concerned about how to manage when she already has children at home. There could be financial worries; family support issues; issues around homelessness; issues around separation or domestic violence; feelings of anxiety, depression. We are available to answer any of those queries or to signpost them in having them answered by other agencies,” said Ms Smalle.The Walk-In Clinic will make available information from other relevant agencies and support groups such as the HSE community services, Primary Care, Community Mothers/Teen Parent Support, Barnardos, ClareCare, ABC Startright, Citizens Advice, MABS, legal services etc.The new clinic coincides with the continuing development of the Perinatal Mental Health Service at UMHL but it is open to all women and their relatives.“It is about breaking down barriers and is open to all to call in,” said Ciara Lawlor, Medical Social Worker, UL Hospitals Group.“We are located right here beside the Ante-Natal Clinic so very visible in that regard to patients and to staff. It is about making the service more accessible to them; so that women can see for themselves what supports are there for them if they want to share a concern.”Welcoming the new service, Dr Naro Imcha, Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist, said “At UMHL, we are closely interacting with patients to identify bottlenecks and to streamline the patient journey. The MSW Walk-In Clinic is an example of the many simple but impactful changes that are patient-centred.“This Clinic brings a multidisciplinary team together at one location so that a care plan can be quickly developed with all their inputs.” Dr Imcha concluded.More about health here. 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