Meeting Martina Dempster Senior Social Worker in Sensory Services


Martina Dempster is the Western Trust’s Senior Social Worker in Sensory Services for the Fermanagh and Omagh areas. She has been working within the Trust since 2007 and worked in the Sperrin and Lakeland Trust previously. Martina is married with three children and lives in Enniskillen.


Martina Dempster"I qualified from University of Ulster in 1985 and worked in Boston USA in Children Mental Health Services.  I then moved to the UK and worked as a Medical Social Worker in the Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford.  I moved back to Enniskillen in 1990 and have been working in Sensory Services since then.  In 1999 I travelled to Australia for an exchange trip for a year.


 "I am lucky to work within the Adult Mental Health & Disability  Directorate and there are two sensory support team: one  based in Foyle and the other based in Enniskillen.



"The team consists of Social Workers, Rehabilitation Workers, ETO/Lip Reading Teacher and an Outreach Information Officer.  We deliver a service to individuals across all age ranges who have a sensory loss and work closely with our colleagues in the acute sector i.e. optometry, opthtomology, ENT and audiology.  We provide a professional service to meet the assessed needs of individuals, families, carers and communities for support, care and empowerment. Our objective is to enable people with a sensory loss to live as full a life as possible within their capabilities.


"My role is to demonstrate professional leadership to support and enable staff to deliver an effective service to provide a culture of continuous improvement and high standards and to promote a greater understanding by the public of the needs of individuals with sensory loss.


"The greatest challenge currently has to be the economic climate we find ourselves in.  The requirement to provide accessible flexible and responsive service against a background of a possible reduction in resources is a difficult one. However I have to say there is a very positive mood within the sensory world at the moment. Regionally, we have worked very hard to agree a number of policies and procedures that standardise our practice and hopefully will lead to more person-centred responsive and accessible services.  We have just completed a RQIA review of services which was positive and we look forward to following through on any recommendations that might follow.


"I have been very fortunate working for the Trust, having the opportunity to work with staff that are well motivated and enthusiastic and dedicated to their work.  We have to harness this commitment and sustain the effort."


Find out more about Western Trust Sensory Services