Care and Counselling (Tan Tock Seng Hospital)

The Care and Counselling Department at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) supports patients — and their families — to cope with their illness or injury.

Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s (TTSH) medical social workers attend to patients and families facing emotional, psychological, social, environmental and practical problems arising from an illness or the sudden onset of traumatic injuries.

Together, the multidisciplinary team, community partners and organisations aim to facilitate the recovery and healing process, optimise the well-being of the patient and his/her family, and ease the patient back into joining the community.

Social Work Case Management

Financial and Practical Assistance

  • Referral services for those who encounter financial difficulties
  • Assistance with medical bills for needy patients
  • Assistance with care equipment and non-consumables

Discharge Care Planning and Post-discharge Follow-Up

  • Assessment of care needs
  • Counselling services and education of patients and families about community resources and possible options
  • Coordination of arrangements for the care plan as identified by the patient and family
  • Conducting home visits as required to monitor post-discharge adjustment
  • Provision of emotional and practical support

Psycho-emotional Support

  • Evaluation of formal and informal resources
  • Assessment of coping ability and support network
  • Provision of appropriate intervention in the management of acute, chronic and terminal illness
  • Community networking for continuity of care 
  • Advocacy, educational and vocational services

Counselling and Therapy Services

The TTSH Care and Counselling Department offers a safe and private setting where patients can explore and learn to cope with the problems arising from illnesses or disabilities. The service operates strictly by appointment. The counselling and therapy services include:

  • Individual counselling
  • Family therapy
  • Couple counselling
  • HIV counselling
  • Disability counselling
  • Grief and bereavement support
  • Hypnotherapy

It is often a difficult time for patients and their loved ones when patients are inflicted with a critical or life-threatening illness and admitted to the intensive care unit.

Patients and their loved ones not only have to grapple with the complexity of their medical condition/s and treatment, but also have to deal with a myriad of secondary losses, such as the threat of loss of life, functional abilities, employment, income and the like.

To help patients and their loved ones through this trying time, the Care and Counselling department provides:

  • Timely support to cope with the difficult circumstances
  • Holistic care by addressing psycho-emotional and social needs
  • Comfort and help to alleviate anxieties and stress

Crisis Management and Intervention

The Care and Counselling department offers risk assessment, interventions, safety plans, emotional support and psychological first aid for patients and families coping with:

  • A suicide attempt
  • Family violence
  • Abuse and neglect
  • Sexual assault
  • Post-trauma

Transitional Care

This service includes:

  • Support for patients at their home for three to six months after their discharge from an acute hospital
  • Follow-up by the multidisciplinary team at the patient’s home until he or she:
  • No longer requires follow-up from the service
  • Accesses step-down care services from the home nursing foundation
  • Obtains other home medical care providers for continual nursing care

The service aims to minimise readmission to acute hospitals in the event that post-discharge patients are not well-supported with medical care immediately after their discharge from the hospital.

Community Health Engagement Programme

This is a fall prevention programme designed for elderly people who are still mobile. The service aims to detect health problems early for elderly care treatment and to minimise hospitalisation and premature institutional care. All participants will receive the following services:

  • A comprehensive health screening
  • An exercise programme for six months designed by a physiotherapist
  • Continued training and support by volunteers on the exercise programme
  • Home safety assessment for participants by an occupational therapist
  • Follow up on modifications to improve home safety
  • Case management for patients with psychosocial problems

Advanced Care Planning

Advanced care planning is the process of planning for the patient’s future healthcare needs. The team provides discussions with patients to help them: 

  • Explore the following issues: 
  • Their understanding of their medical condition and potential complications
  • Their concept of living well
  • Their illness experiences
  • Their values and goals in life
  • Their goals in medical treatment
  • Identify a healthcare proxy who will help make decisions on the patient’s behalf when he/she is not able to do so
  • Communicate the patient’s preferences to their loved ones so they can honour his/her wishes

Group Therapy and Support Groups

Coping with a major or chronic medical condition can be difficult for both patients and family members. Support groups are an important source of psychosocial and emotional support. These groups provide a platform for patients and family members to share experiences and learn how to cope better with their condition. The team offers a range of support groups tailored for the unique needs of patients and family members it is working with.

These support groups include the following:

  • Brain Tumour Support Group
  • Parkinson’s Disease Support Group
  • Myasthenia Gravis Support Group
  • HIV Women’s Support Group

Education and Training

This service:

  • Provides clinical supervision for junior social-work professionals and undergraduates
  • Provides attachment opportunities for social work undergraduates
  • Teaches undergraduates and postgraduate students at the National University of Singapore, Singapore Institute of Management, and Monash University (External Programme)
  • Provides in-house training for hospital staff 
  • Counselling skills
  • Management of grief and loss
  • Awareness of issues with interpersonal violence
  • Collaborates with other healthcare professionals in evidence-based research to improve the delivery of healthcare services 
  • Conducts evidence-based research in healthcare systems for optimum clinical outcomes in patient care and delivery of services

How to Contact TTSH Care and Counselling Department

Tel: 65 6357 8222

Fax: 65 6357 8223

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