Health Education and Promotion

Medical Social Services Department


The Medical Social Services Department was established on the 1st of February 1957, as the pioneer of Medical Social Work profession in Nigeria. Mrs. Mary Modupe Omitowoju (Nee Noo Noo) of blessed memory pioneered Social Work in Clinical setting in Nigeria when she was employed on the 1st of February, 1957 by the University College Hospital, Ibadan.


The Medical Social Services Department is a Clinical department and the department shares the mandate of the hospital   in her 3 (three) fold functions namely; Direct Services to Patient, Training and Research.  The department is directly under the supervision of the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee.


OUR VISION:-          To maintain our position as the ultimate in clinical social services delivery in the Country and centre of excellence for professional training of Medical Social Workers while collaborating in Medical research by highlighting the psycho-social components of medical care.


OUR MISSION:-  To promptly and effectively alleviate the psychosocial problems of needy patients and staff in a conducive environment that fosters training and stimulates ethical psychosocial research.


The Medical Social Services Department is divided into seven operational units, to allow for easy coverage, and prompt services delivery to our clients and the Operational units are as follows:-

  • Accident & Emergency and Burn Unit
  • Surgical Unit:- This covers the Surgical Out Patient Clinic, Dental centre, Radiotherapy, Family Medicine Department, Staff Clinic and all Surgical Wards.
  • Geriatric Unit:- Geriatric Clinic and Wards.
  • Medical Unit:- This includes The Medical Out Patient Clinic, Heamatology Day Care Unit, Special Treatment Clinic, Palliative and all Medical Wards.
  • Paediatric Unit:- Otunba Tunwase Children Emergency Ward, Children Out Patient Clinic  and all Paediatric wards.
  • Psychiatry Unit:- Psychiatric Clinic and Wards.
  • O & G Unit:- Gynae Clinic, Ante Natal Clinic and Obs & Gynae wards.

Each unit is headed by a Unit Supervisor who is responsible to the Head of Department.


Mrs Temilola Modupe Umar had her first degree and Masters degree in “Social Welfare” from the University of Ibadan, while her second Master’s degree in “Social Work” with Specialization in Health Care is from The Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho.  She is currently pursuing her Ph.D in Social Welfare at the University of Ibadan. She is a Director, Medical Social Services.



Social work interventions are carried out according to the area of psychosocial needs specified in the referral letters.

For example;

  • Counselling of patients for various psychosocial problems that can hinder their medical treatment.
  • Rendering crisis interventions to accident victims by contacting relations, and providing their immediate medical and social support.
  • Conducting home visit to assess the socio-economic status of patients.
  • Rehabilitation of abandoned patients.
  • Provision of Accommodation for patients and or their relations
  • Financial assistance to needy patients.
  • Intervening in Clinical Ethical issues e.g. patients Discharging Against Medical Advice (DAMA).
  • Conducting holistic round with Psychiatric and Neurosurgical Units.
  • Maintenance of Special homes for patients and their Escorts (e.g. Alanu House for Cancer patients on Radiotherapy, Florence Ajimobi Alaanu house and Hostel for patients’ relatives.
  • Assisting patients and staff with processing of Adoption/Fostering.
  • Training of Master of Social Work students on Fieldwork and practical placement.


We work towards a good corporate image of the hospital to ensure continuous patronage by clients, through  the provision of our social services including but not limited to;

  • Mediating between patients and the hospital in sensitive cases.
  • Intervening on behalf of Management on Medico-Social issues’
  • Intervening in clinical Ethical Issues.





CRISIS INTERVENTION:-  The main purpose is to provide a safe resolution of crisis, ensure that patients are restored to their pre-morbid equilibrium and thereby  increasing the  chances of survival.  It is applicable to physical, psychological trauma, assault, battering etc.


COUNSELLING:-  The purpose of counselling is to make patients understand the psychosocial implication of their medical diagnosis and make informed choices on issues affecting their Bio- psycho-social milieu and to have access to care and appropriate utilization of resources.

ADVOCACY AND PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT:- The purpose of Advocacy is to speak and act on behalf of patient’s to employer of needy patients, relations, social services, clubs, Church, Mosque, philanthropic social club and philanthropist.

            PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT:-  This is to help in making needy patients who are having medical, psychological, financial and emotional problems to adjust to their condition.  This is  carried out  by linking patients with existing resources within the agency, helping patient to access information in such a way that they will be able to understand, and linking patients up for peer counselling and support.



 ACCOMMODATION:-  Patients coming to Ibadan for non-surgical treatment, surgery or post-surgical treatment or other forms of treatment require a place to stay while undergoing treatment.  The Medical Social Services department has a lodging for patients and their care givers, who are not resident in Ibadan.  The accommodation facilities are:-


ALANU HOUSE:-  A 25 beded accommodation built by Ibadan Doyen Lions club at the provision of Land by the UCH Management.  The house provides free accommodation for UCH patients on radiotherapy.  The house has being managed by the Medical Social Services Department  since 1985.


FLORENCE AJIMOBI ALAANU HOUSE:-  Was  built by the wife of the Oyo State Governor, Chief Mrs. Florence Ajimobi and handed  over to the UCH Management  who provided the land on which it was built.  The house has 12 rooms and it accommodate relatives of UCH patients on the ward.  The Medical Social Services Department manages the house. The sum of #500.00 is charged per night.

HOSTEL FOR PATIENT ESCORTS:-  This hostel was built by the UCH Management and handed over to the Medical Social Services Department to manage.  It can accommodate 20 female and 20 male escorts at a go.  The relatives pay #100.00 per day as maintenance fee.




  1. a) Bachelors Degree in Social Work (BSW)
  2. b) Related First Degree compulsorily with Master in Social Work with specialization in Health (MSW)
  3. c) Must be a registered member of the Association of Medical Social Workers of Nigeria (AMSWON).
  4. d) Must possess AMSWON’S Certificate of Practice.




  1. a) Medical Social Work involves a lot of urgent home visit hence medical social workers are not rigid about working hours.


b).       Medical Social Work requires the ability to deal with people from various socio – cultural background.


  1. c) The Medical condition of patient sometimes make patients transfer aggression to healthcare workers hence, medical social workers posses the coping skills to be understanding and remain humane.


  • Computer Systems
  • Telephone (GSM and Intercoms)
  • Calculators
  • Filing Cabinets
  • Various forms for different documentation.
  • Comfortable Offices
  • Vehicle for Home Visit.


Head of Department and Administrative support staff are located in the general office of the department, directly opposite the Central Health records office, on the outpatient corridor.


  1. a) All Medical Social Workers on morning duty, would be at their various operational units in the Clinics, between the hours of 8.00 am to 4.00pm.


  1. b) Afternoon shift, nights, weekends and public holidays:- Medical Social Workers on duty are based in the Emergency office of the Department.


  1. a) Empowered by our principle of shared confidentiality, Medical Social Workers have access to Medical case notes to extract useful information and document social work intervention in special cases.


  1. b) Liazing with the Health records officer in retrieving medical case notes for urgent tracing of patients for follow up.


  1. c) Medical Social Workers receive referrals from other health professionals in the Clinics and Wards.


  1. d) We also receive referrals from the office of the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee.


  1. e) Referrals also come from outside agencies related to the department e.g. Oyo State Social Welfare office.


  1. f) We collaborate with hospital services, Public Relations department and The Legal Unit




  1. a) Exposure to aggression during home visit
  2. b) Transferred aggression especially from psychiatric patients and bereaved relatives
  3. c) Exposure to infection especially air borne diseases.
  4. d) Risk associated with conducting home visit on bikes.



(i.)      The Medical Social Services Department offer  financial support to needy patients of the hospital through The  ALANU FUND.  The Alanu fund is generated through donations from philanthropic individuals and organizations.  The Alanu Fund Committee is the governing body managing Alanu Fund.  The President is Hon. Justice B.O. Babalakin CON while the Vice  President is Prof. J. Lawani. The Head of Department of Medical Social Services is the Secretary of the Committee according to its constitution.  The committee comprises of representatives of UCH management, ARD, Clinical Nursing, Public Health Nursing, Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, Representative of Lions Club, Rotary Club e.t.c.  The Alanu Fund Committee ensures a judicious management of the fund. The Medical Social Services Department is grateful to the UCH Management for its annual grant of #300,000.00k to The Alanu Fund.


(ii)       The Indigent support fund and Itunu fund are also disbursed to benefitting patients by the hospital management through the Medical Social Services Department to guide against mismanagement.


  • Social Work Horizon: This is a journal of medical social work based in the Medical Social Services Department of the  It is the first of its kind in the area of social work in the country, while the maiden issue was launched on 26th of October, 1996. The Department is presently collecting and collating articles for another edition of the journal.
  • Alanu Concert: This is a yearly activity through which fund is being generated to Alanu Fund. The Medical Students of the UCH organize it every year.
  • Jumble Sales: This is also an activity of the Department where donated items are put up for sales. The proceed from this also goes into Alanu Fund through which needy patients are helped.




  1. “SOCIAL WORK HORIZON” the pioneer journal of Medical Social Work in Nigeria originated from the Medical Social Services Department, University College Hospital Ibadan. The first Edition was published in 1996.


  1. The Medical Social Services Department, U.C.H. is the pioneer Training Centre for the Master of Social Work practicum placement from various Universities within and outside Nigeria.  This Training is a criteria for The Award of Masters Degree in Social Work.  We have being Training Students since 1991.


III.       The Babcock University gave an award to the Medical Social Services Department of the University College Hospital, Ibadan on 15th March, 2016 for an outstanding contribution towards Social Work and Haman services Education Training.