Palliative social work in the United Kingdom

Chaddock, Becky and Paul, Sally and Cullen, Anne; Altilio, Terry and Otis-Green, Shirely and Cagle, John G., eds. (2022) Palliative social work in the United Kingdom. In: The Oxford Textbook of Palliative Social Work. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 520 - 523. ISBN 9780197537855 (

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Palliative social work in the United Kingdom (UK) is woven into the fabric of palliative care and the modern hospice movement. UK palliative social workers are employed by various statutory and third sector organizations. They undertake diverse roles and work with people of all ages. The four UK nations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) register and regulate professional social workers. Legislation, codes of ethics and a commitment to an evidence-base govern practice. Core tenets include a focus on the wider social system of the person who has a serious or life-limiting condition, social justice, improving/disseminating specialist knowledge and expertise, and promoting a community based, public health approach to end-of-life care. Palliative social workers use therapeutic skills and creativity to enable individuals and their families to process emotions and make informed decisions. They contribute to professional education and research and increasingly hold leadership positions from which they influence national policy.