Sixty socal workers provide support on the hospital wards, the outpatient clinic and at the consultations. Social workers give personal support in case of illness, disability, admission or treatment in the hospital. They lend an ear, give information and specific support in various life domains. If necessary, they refer to specialised help. Personal care, attention for dignity and accessibility are a common thread in all activities. The service is always free and confidential.
If a partner or a relative has to stay the night in the hospital, he can use the family accommodation at the Gasthuisberg or Pellenberg campus. Volunteers are around at fixed times to talk or to lend an ear.
Some elderly patients can't return hope immediately after being discharged from the hospital or in case of acute problems at home. The 'Orientation and follow-up programme home care'-project (OOTT- Oriëntatie en OpvolgingsTraject Thuiszorg) helps these elderly patient to organise care at home and provides temporary accommodation in an OOTT room. Customised support ensures that people can continue to live at home for as long as possible.
Being ill and being admitted to hospital often sets people thinking: these are times in which a patient may question the meaning of life. At UZ Leuven there are 12 pastoral care workers that can offer support in case of existential or spiritual questions by having a dicussion, by lending an ear or a meaningful ritual. The pastoral care workers work from a christian inspiration, with attention and appreciation for everyone's spiritual and ideological background Patients can ask for a pastoral care workers at any time.
Both autochthonous patiens and patient with an allochthonous background are entitled to a good service in a language they understand. If necessary UZ Leuven will bring in an intercultural mediator or an interpreter. They will either come to the patient or either help from a distance via telophone or an internet call. For interpreting, UZ Leuven works together with external partners that have a wide variety of languages on offer, including Flemish sign language.