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Social Work | Lakes | Te Whatu Ora

Public Service, Allied Health


Formerly Lakes DHB Social Work

Health social workers are specialised professionals and provide services to people using the services of Lakes District Health Board - Rotorua and Taupō. We work collaboratively with the patient, their family/whānau and other multi/inter disciplinary teams and interagency teams.

Health social workers can assist with:

  • Helping individuals, families and whānau in making their own decisions about community based care.
  • Providing information and helping families access resources in the hospital and the community.
  • Providing support and health-related short term counselling.
  • Advocating for and negotiating on behalf of individuals, families and whānau.
  • Helping with planning and discharge (referrals to other agencies in the community is part of this).

Issues that may arise when in hospital:

  • Health, sickness and disability issues
  • Grief/loss
  • Carer stress
  • Coping strategies
  • Family violence
  • Elder abuse
  • Low mood
  • Legal issues e.g. Power of Attorney
  • Relationship issues that are impacting on health

Health social workers are service based; situated in inpatient, outpatient and community settings. They can be found at the following locations:


Physical Health Services  Mental Health Services 
Surgical Unit Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health (iCAMHS)
Orthopaedic Unit Adult Community Mental Health & Addiction Services
 Medical Unit Mental Health Service for Older People (MHSOP)
Older Persons and Rehabilitation Unit Taupō Mental Health
 Woman, Child and Family Service
(Maternal; Neonatal and Child Health)
 District Nursing (Community Health)  
Taupō Hospital (Generic Physical Health)             

Te Aka Mauri - WCF Community Health


 Where to find us: see the Rotorua Hospital and Taupō Hospital maps.


Name  Service Area  Contact 
 Shelley Kirk Professional Lead Social Work   (07) 349 8755 Ext 8050

Referral Expectations

People have the right to ask for or decline health social work services and also have a right to be treated in accordance with the Health & Disabilities Act.

Fees and Charges Description

New Zealand citizens or those who have obtained permanent residence are entitled to publicly funded health care.

Non-residents may be required to pay for their health care.

Click here to read more about eligibility for funded care at Te Whatu Ora Lakes 


Click here to find your nearest community pharmacy.


Click on the location links for more information on your trip to Rotorua Hospital or Taupō Hospital, including:

Contact Details

This page was last updated at 4:40PM on December 16, 2021. This information is reviewed and edited by Social Work | Lakes | Te Whatu Ora.