The Social Work Alert System: An account of a new initiative in the emergency department at Middlemore Hospital


  • Angela Todman A Senior Social Worker in The National Burns Unit, Intensive Care Unit and Surgical Wards at Middlemore Hospital.
  • Pa’u Tafaogalupe Mulitalo-Lauta A Senior Social Worker in the Emergency Department Middlemore Hospital.



health social work, social work alert system, at-risk patients, psychosocial assessment,


This article discusses a new initiative within the Emergency Department and the wider Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland, namely a Social Work Alert System (SWAS) that enhances delivery of quality care for patients. The SWAS is defined as a social work process that identifies patients who may be at risk due to past or present circumstances so that they may be reviewed and psychosocially assessed by a social worker. For the purposes of this article, a scenario is used to illustrate how the SWAS operates involving a pregnant mother who came to hospital through the Emergency Department.


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How to Cite

Todman, A., & Mulitalo-Lauta, P. T. (2009). The Social Work Alert System: An account of a new initiative in the emergency department at Middlemore Hospital. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 21(4), 44–52.