For the duration of the practicum period, the client wasplaced at the Kingston Public Hospital and Victoria Jubilee Hospital, locatedon North Street, Kingston. Both hospitals work together as two differenthospitals that are joined by geographical location and shared services,resources and administrative staff. The hospitals have a deep-rooted history inthe Jamaican landscape.
The Kingston Public Hospital was established on the 14thof December, 1776 and serves the communities in the south-east regions ofJamaica. (Williams 2016) The institution was designed as an alms-house andhospital, however, the alms-house was relocated to Rae Town in 1850. Theinstitution currently offers a variety of services including diagnosticimaging; dietary services; cardiology; intensive care pain management;anaesthesia; general surgery; ear and nose surgery, radiology; and physicalrehabilitative services.
The hospital has a bed capacity of 505 bed and has atotal of seven medical wards, which are divided into 4 firms A’s – male wardsand B’s – Female wards, 3 orthopaedic wards and 2 surgical wards. The Victoria Jubilee Hospital wasopened in 1891 and was incorporated into the Kingston Public Hospital.(McDonald 2014) The institution is the largest referral maternity hospital inthe Caribbean, offering services such as antenatal, postnatal, gynaecological,physiotherapy, neurosurgery, facio-maxillary, pharmacy and family planning.Currently, the bed capacity is that of 248. Both hospitals share a single ChiefMedical Officer, Errol Green, however, have separate Senior Medical Officers(SMO’s), Dr Natalie Whylieand Dr Orville Morgan, who serve the Kingston Public Hospital and VictoriaJubilee hospital respectively. Within both hospital is an officededicated to social cases, and that office is the Social Work department. Theworkers there are referred to as Medical Social Workers, this is due to thefact that the cases and knowledge that they will need and face are most timesof a medical nature.
According to the job description given by the Ministry ofHealth the medical social worker is to: to conduct comprehensive socialinvestigations in order to identify the socio-emotional and economic factorsrelated to illness, consult with health team and to provide them withinformation on social factors impinging on treatment plan and refer and networkwith relevant agencies.