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1.8.4 Children and Families Hospital Social Workers


The hospital social workers are Eileen O’Neill and Caron Heath we are part of the Finsbury Child in Need Team. We are based at the Whittington Hospital. You can find us on the outlook email system and our direct numbers are 0207 288 5260, 0207 288 3929 and 0207 288 5881. We have access to Whittington systems and attend a range of multidisciplinary meetings (MDT). Below are the areas where we can support you.

This chapter was added to this manual in June 2015.


  1. Paediatrics
  2. Antenatal
  3. Child Protection Conferences
  4. Yellow Memos / Hospital Alerts
  5. Liaison with University College London Hospital Safeguarding Midwives
  6. Contact Numbers

1. Paediatrics

  • Emergency Department and Ifor Ward MDTs (Children’s Inpatient Ward) – if you have a child who has been into the hospital we can check records, ask for updates and let you know;
  • If you have a child on Ifor ward you can come to the MDT, let us know and we can arrange this;
  • If you are concerned about a child’s attendance we can access medical records, confirm whether they attended and let you know the outcome;
  • Psychiatric liaison – if you have a child who has self-harmed (including excessive alcohol / drug consumption) we can liaise and/or complete a joint mental health assessment with the psychiatric liaison team;
  • We can also do initial exploratory work for any child who attends the hospital who is not previously known, but once they are discharged the case will transfer to the relevant community team for assessment.

2. Antenatal

  • Maternity – we liaise with the specialist safeguarding midwives about vulnerable women and unborn babies with respect to drug and alcohol use, domestic violence, learning difficulties, mental health, female genital mutilation and under 18s;
  • NICU – we liaise to consider the social needs of any premature, neonatal abstinence, or poorly babies;
  • Perinatal – the perinatal team work with pregnant women with complex mental health diagnoses, particularly women who are prescribed anti-depressant / anti-psychotic medication throughout their pregnancies;
  • Contact us if you want any information about pregnancies and babies. This can include whether somebody is attending their antenatal appointments, support making a referral to the perinatal team, arranging a discharge planning meeting or if you want to flag someone up to the safeguarding maternity team.

3. Yellow Memos / Hospital Alerts

  • All babies subject to child protection plans should have a yellow memo. This is to alert the ward staff of the safeguarding concerns and care plan for the baby. If you have an unborn baby on a child protection plan please let us know and we will complete the yellow memo, send you a copy and upload to ICS;
  • We can also liaise with the safeguarding midwives to request wider London hospital alerts and London Ambulance Service alerts;
  • Once a baby is born we can facilitate discussion about length of stay, observations or toxicology results.

4. Child Protection Conferences

  • If you have a child with a chronic medical condition or a child who is an inpatient the Initial Child Protection Conference should be held at the Whittington Hospital as this enables medical staff to attend;
  • If you have an unborn baby the pre-birth child protection conference should be held at the hospital where the pregnancy is booked in;
  • Please inform S&QA then contact us to book the room in the social work department.

5. Liaison with University College London Hospital Safeguarding Midwives

  • We are in the process of developing relationships with the UCLH safeguarding midwives and attend their maternity safeguarding meeting on a monthly basis.

6. Contact Numbers

Some numbers you might find helpful for the Whittington Hospital


Ifor Ward - 0207 288 5442 / 4102 / 3677
Paediatric Emergency - 0207 288 3977 / 3978
Psychiatric Liaison Team - 0207 288 5356 (not CAMHS, although they work together).


Antenatal clinic - 0207 288 5586 / 3321 (outpatients)
Midwife Community Base - 0207 288 3482 (Community Midwives)
Murray Ward - 0207 288 5005 / 4005 (inpatient antenatal)
Labour Ward - 0207 288 5502 / 4502
Cellier Ward - 0207 288 5504 / 4504 (inpatient postnatal)
Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) - 0207 288 3852
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) - 0207 288 5530 / 4530
Perinatal (maternal mental health) - 0207 561 4142
Safeguarding midwives – 0207 288 5924.

Any queries about unborn babies, children, parents – give us a call!