Experiences of assessment
Experiences of assessment

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Experiences of assessment

2 Gaynor and Liz comment on Brian and Sylvia's situation

At the time of the recording, Gaynor was a social worker employed by social services. She specialised in working with older people. Liz was an occupational therapist also employed by social services. Both had extensive experience of carrying out assessments under the NHS and Community Care Act 1990.

Activity 2

The next clip features Liz and Gaynor. In it, they comment on the issues raised by Brian and Sylvia. Add any additional points to the notes you began in the previous section.

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Transcript: Clip 2: Gaynor and Liz (Part 1)

Helen Robinson
We asked Gaynor, a social worker, and Liz, an occupational therapist, to comment on Brian and Sylvia's account of their experiences. You'll hear Gaynor's voice first.
Gaynor Answer
I think one of the challenges is that, when we go out to a completely new situation, is that we are able to somehow tune in to the real problems. Sometimes you get a carer who's so stressed and worried, that you may get a wrong picture of what's actually going on. So one of the challenges, I feel, is to hear everyone's story and try and balance out everyone's needs. And sometimes that's quite difficult
. Liz Adams
I think, when we actually start assessing an individual, they've actually already got possibly past experiences of being assessed, maybe by a different professional. And so they bring that with them to the assessment ... and maybe, if they've had a negative experience in the past, then to start with you've got to build up the rapport with the patient. And it may be that you've got to overcome the barrier that they're putting up, in terms of the last time being a very negative experience, and maybe the perception that the professional is just being nosy and asking a load of questions that they're not going to actually do anything about with that information.
And perhaps, if we haven't explained the reason why we want to know the information, and the person doesn't understand fully the reason why we want the information, they may resent us asking what could be quite a personal question about their ability to cope, or maybe about their financial situation, because we're wanting to arrange grants and things like that. Because it may be that the client thinks you want a particular answer to the question, and so may give that answer, rather than actually telling you the truth of what the situation is really like. Maybe that's because they feel that we're going to judge their situation, and also because they want to have that privacy themselves as well.
Gaynor Answer
It's not ideal for people to have different social workers visiting them, because they often must feel that they're having to tell their story over and over again. And the amount of paperwork that's duplicated may give them the impression that they're not being taken seriously the first time ... there's a lot of repetition. And also, of course, the building up of a relationship doesn't happen if there's lots of different people coming in.
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