The whole essence of my role as a Palliative Care Social Worker, the contact with individuals and their families, with bereaved relatives and other services has been essentially about the face-to-face interaction and rapport that develops.  For now, that has gone.  Telephone support with the offer of things like Zoom and Skype, has replaced what was previously the norm and it will be interesting to see what the new norm looks like in the future, fresh opportunities and practice that we keep.

Yet in a period that is causing everybody some level of personal and/or professional distress and I am no exception to that, kindness, hope and a huge dollop of reflection shines through.  I have been a Social Worker for 20 years.  Having had countless telephone conversations over the past couple of weeks, the vast majority after introductions, have begun with being asked ‘and how are you and your family?

What Covid-19 has done is to provide a perverse opportunity for people to reflect on what matters to them, those small gratitude’s that make a difference.  This has often come at a cost.  Less time with family, watching the relative with dementia deteriorate rather quicker, the impact on their significant other so much harder when you cannot support like you would previously and so much more.

The living with losses that we are all encountering, but for now, for today, what I want to keep is the focus on the humanity, kindness and perspective that is in abundance around us.  This is the bit we do need to keep!

Jonathan Pearce
Family Support Team Lead