PROFILE OF SOCIAL WELFARE UNIT
BACKGROUND INFORMATION OF THE UNIT
The Social Welfare Unit of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital seeks to improve the psychosocial wellbeing of patients and other health workers in the hospital setting.
Hospital welfare services started as the Almoner’s Department in 1952. The Almoner’s Department began to function for the first time in the Mental Hospital and the then Gold Coast Hospital, Korle-Bu. It found itself administratively as part and parcel of the medical department, but it was partly dependent on the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development for staff training and financing of some of its work.
This service was headed by an English trained Almoner and two African Assistants with no previous experience of hospital work but with a local training in general elementary social work. This new department was soon renamed Hospital Welfare Services and the title Head Almoner designated to Chief Hospital Welfare Officer.
A policy was pursued of asking both medical officers and sisters to refer any patient who seemed to have problems other than their physical illness to that unit. In 1961, the hospital welfare staff was absorbed in the service of the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development as an adjunct of its Welfare Division.
Social Welfare Services commenced operation in the then Kumasi Central Hospital, now Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), in November, 1955 after three years of operation in the Mental Hospital and the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
The unit was previously staffed by the Department of Social Welfare, Kumasi. Over the years, management of KATH realized the increasing workload on the unit and the need for extra staff. Since, January 2008, KATH management has been recruiting additional staff to support the existing staff from the Department of Social Welfare in Kumasi.
“To assist or help meet the socio-psychological needs of our clientele (patients and other health workers) within the hospital setting.”
“To take the lead in integrating disadvantaged people into the mainstream of development”.
“Working in partnership with other health workers to improve the overall health and wellbeing of patients.”
STRUCTURE OF MANAGEMENT
KEY FUNCTIONS & SERVICES
- Develop strategies to reduce patient length of stay after discharge
- Advocate medical care for patients to aid in treatment
- Develop, monitor and evaluate policies on patients’ treatment and care plan
- Plan and coordinate patient care and rehabilitation (where necessary)
- Identify environmental impediments to patients’ treatment and develop strategies to curtail them
- Assess and evaluate patients’ needs through psychosocial investigations for purposes of diagnosis, treatment, waiver of medical bills or prevention of reoccurrence of illness.
- Investigate issues of child abuse, domestic violence and neglect which result in health problems and make appropriate recommendations.
- Trace and re-unite families with patients who are admitted as ‘unknown’.
- Refer clients to appropriate institutions for further management.
- Provide counselling services for individuals and/or with families on:
- Recovering from illness and post discharge care
- Overcoming alcoholism and drug dependency and adjusting to life
- Social consequences of HIV/AIDS and chronic illnesses
- Registering for National Health Insurance
- Accepting medical treatment irrespective of cultural or religious beliefs.
- To provide assistance to:
- Patients who cannot pay their medical bills or afford treatment.
- Patients requiring emergency treatment whose relatives cannot be immediately known.
- Abandoned babies by recommending them for protective temporal shelter
- SUB UNITS AND THEIR SERVICES
Staff are assigned to all the clinical directorates within the hospital from where they perform their duties. Although performing similar tasks, each clinical directorate may have peculiar needs for its patients reliant on the kind of cases they admit or manage.
|Name of staff||Directorate/Unit|
|Joshua Addo Kuffour||Trauma|
|Seth Gyamfi||Child health, Cleft clinic|
|Francisca Konadu||Psychiatry, Obs @ Gynaecology|
|Augustina Ayomah||Child health|
|Rita Owusu Ansah||Medicine|
|Janet Belane||Emergency medicine|
|Josephine Attaa Boaduwaa||Rotation|
- STAFF STRENGTH
Currently, the unit has a permanent staff strength of twelve (12). Four (4) are permanent staff of KATH while eight (8) are from the Department of Social Welfare. The unit receives periodic support from personnel posted by the National Service Secretariat and fieldwork attachés from various academic institutions.
|Institution||Category of staff||Number|
|KATH||Principal Administrative Manager-social worker||3|
|Senior Administrative Manager-social worker||1|
|DEPT. OF SOCIAL WELFARE||Senior Social Development Officer||2|
|Social Development Officer||3|
|Social Development Assistant||3|
There is institutional collaboration between the Department of Sociology and Social Work, (KNUST) and the School of Social Work (SSW) on one end and the Social Welfare Unit, KATH on another end through which students are trained during their semester-long fieldwork.
The unit periodically trains students from other universities that undertake social work and/or social work related programmes.
Staff also undergo in-service trainings to enhance their knowledge in social work practice. The year 2019 will see two (2) staff from the unit undertaking further studies in MSc. Social Work at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. One (1) staff will also be trained in Health Administration and Management at GIMPA.
On-going researches include:
- “The role and capacities of social workers regarding the wellbeing of older people and their caregivers”
- “Ensuring Health for All, AN Exploration of Social Services Provision in Ghanaian Tertiary Hospitals”
- “The effects of post discharge stay on patients”
MAIN OFFICE: HUMAN RESOURCE BLOCK
CONTACT: (03220) 22301-4 Ext 1034
DIRECTORATE OFFICES: HEAD OF UNIT
Joshua Addo Kuffour
MPH, MA, BA, Exec. Mini-MBA,
+233322033201-4, Ext. 1034
- UNIT’S WORKING DAYS AND HOURS
The unit is open to its clients every week, Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The office does not open on holidays and weekends.
NAMES AND NATURE OF LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL PARTNER ORGANISATIONS
To ensure effective operation, the unit works in collaboration with other agencies and institutions. These include:
- The Ghana Police Service; Domestic Violence Victim and Support Unit (DOVVSU)
- The Department of Social Welfare; Kumasi Children’s Home, Central Destitute Infirmary (CDI), Bekwai.
- The Attorney General’s Department
- The Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ)
- Department of Sociology and Social Work, KNUST, Kumasi
- School of Social Work, Osu, Accra
ANY OTHER INFO
The unit periodically receives donations from corporate organizations such as Vodafone Ghana, Angel Group of Companies, Abdave Media Production and many other benevolent institutions and individuals. These funds are used to pay for patients’ medical bills, imaging services, laboratory services, medicines and sometimes used to organize transportation for patients to travel back home.
The unit is further calling on corporate institutions and benevolent individuals to consider extending a helping hand in this direction since the donations that come to the unit are seasonal while patients with financial challenges are an everyday sight.