Working In Partnership
This report entails a review of a working partnership case, which involves health and social care sectors. Working partnership takes place, when a group of professionals with a different set of skills is brought together to assess and solve a situation. The current report outlines the challenges faced by the working partnerships and strategies that can be used to solve them. In addition, it entails a discussion of diverse principles and their value in a working partnership between the health and social care sectors. Models of partnerships, including research partnership, education, and training, wealth creation, and information and translate research, and learning partnership are also covered in the report. The current legislation, guidelines as indicated by the government are addressed as well. The Care Act of 2014 and the Mental Health Act of 2007, which are the major legislations are discussed. The report also suggests the possible strategies that can be used to prevent or eradicate the many challenges faced by working partnerships. Based on the Mr. Ian’s case, the report discusses the importance of having working partnership for all the involved parties, including organization, professionals, and patients.
Social care and healthcare sectors can work in partnership to achieve the improved population health. On the one hand, the interaction between the health care sector and social care may face challenges and even barriers, which can reduce the effectiveness of such practice. On the other hand, if performed correctly, the partnership can achieve positive outcomes. The working partnership is based on four principles, which include empowerment, respect, making informed choices, and independence. For the inter-sector partnership to succeed, it must include high ethical standards, mutual respect, understanding, and commitment (Working in Partnership in Health and Social Care 2019). Mr. Ian’s case study proves that the partnership between social and health care can face diverse challenges, hence rendering it ineffective. The case study depicts that a working partnership can fail, if the participants do not show mutual understanding and willingness to work together. Besides, the same case study manifests that poor communication between health and social care department, as well as lack of leadership, can lead to ineffective partnership and consequently, failure. However, if strategies are devised and the right models used to revive the working partnership, there is a great possibility for achieving positive outcome, since its nature depends on commitment of partners to the activities that relate to the working partnership.
AC 1.1: The Philosophy of Working in Partnership
In health and social care settings, collaborative working is accredited to some philosophical principles. They include interdependence, empowerment, respect, and making informed decisions. Empowerment in the health and social care units expresses the importance of authorizing and enabling staff, caregivers and patients being cared for (Working in Partnership in Health and Social Care 2019). It ensures that every person in the health and social care system can make their own decisions without having to worry about the opinion of others. In the case of Mr. Ian, the healthcare staff and caregivers were expected to devise a procedure that would enable the patient to follow. With the use of the defined procedure, Mr. Ian was expected at the police station and the police officers at some point came to check on him. Both the healthcare and social care units can make operating guidelines; however, the guidelines should not be rigid to the extent that they prevent employees in the system from making their flexible decisions based on the patient’s need.
Respect ensures that every person retains their individuality and that they are given the necessary attention they require. In addition, independence requires that every person in health and social care chooses what they find appropriate. As a consequence, planning is made easy, when people can make options on their own. Making informed decisions is the most important part of the partnership philosophy. Mr. Ian was referred to many different support centres and people with different levels of professional knowledge. At some point, decisions were made without consultation, hence undermined the respect and independence of some parties. Even though the people making such decisions were experienced, they still needed to be informed about his medical history. Only in this case they could make informed decisions and support the patient accordingly. If decisions are made without background information and adequate consultations between sectors, there is a possibility for negative outcome. Failure to show respect to each participating party led to poor coordination.
In an effective collaboration, health and social care units can participate in partnership on diverse issues. It may include medical staff partnership, where they perform routine check-ups facilitated by cooperation with patients. The medical staff is a combination of physicians, nurses, surgeons, and others. Their work would not be possible without the finance team, which facilitates most of their activities. The service team also helps a lot in service provision within the organization. When Mr. Ian was hospitalized, a combination of different health care professionals worked together to find a solution to his ailment. Every person used their knowledge and experience to advise accordingly and that enabled them work together and keep him alive for a long period. The management also played a role in the partnership in ensuring that directions were given correctly.
AC 1.2: Effectiveness of Partnership Relationships within a Health and Social Care
In health and social care, the partnership relationships can only be effective if they are aimed at achieving a common goal. In this regard, a partnership approach should be devised by the partnering parties. Both Harris and White (2018, p. 34) agree that partnership relationships are the basis of coming up with effective solutions to concrete and problematic challenges. For an effective partnership to happen, all the stakeholders involved must share the same vision and leadership goals. The partners should also be ready to be equally involved and contribute based on the project requirements, which was not in Mr. Ian’s case. The foundation of an effective relationship should include policies, targets, and objectives, and sharing of information should be emphasized. However, caution must be exercised to ensure that facts are not leaked to potential threats or used against any party in the relationship.
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Partnership relationships in health and social care can lead to either positive or negative outcomes depending on whether they are effective or ineffective. In the case of Mr. Ian, the relationship between all the partners eventually became improper, and thus, the outcome was poor. First, the involvement of many stakeholders brought confusion. According to the article, there were cases, when decisions were made without involving the persons in charge of the problem. At some point, it was not even clear, who was responsible for management of the specific challenge, because too many departments and individuals were handling some aspects of the issue. In some cases, ineffective partnership relationships in health and social care can lead to poor service provision. Mr. Ian received treatment and diagnosis from different people, who did not effectively coordinate. Every team was convinced that their diagnosis was correct. If not well handled, partnership relationships can lead to poor quality of service.
The failure in Mr. Ian’s case was caused by the presence of many partners who lacked a shared objective. When a project involves a lot of people, who coordinate poorly, it ends being confusing. There were a lot of mistakes made due to ineffective coordinating leadership (Working in Partnership in Health and Social Care 2019). As a result, a lot of time and resources were wasted. As reflected in the Mr. Ian’s case, the patient and even some of the partners become emotionally and physically drained due to stress associated with ineffective collaboration. In some instances, the patient became reluctant to seek or follow the treatment offered due to the confusion created. Instead of helping with the patient’s recovery process, the health and social care professionals dealt with conflicts, which exacerbated the medical and psychological condition of the patient further. Within the setting of an ineffective partnership, those involved defy their responsibilities.
In contrast, effective partnership relationships make treatment easier for the patient. For instance, if Mr. Ian was transferred to different departments to seek help from the best suited individuals, there would have been a great positive outcome. Professionals within the health and social care settings embrace diverse levels of knowledge and expertise. When they are working in a partnership relationship, they can come up with solutions that are best suited for the specific case. The opinions from the many experts in the partnership, though it delays the process, eventually helps in coming up with the best possible solutions. The partnerships also make work easy for the concerned parties because of the shared responsibilities. Thus, working together as a teams is always better than working as a single unit, especially if the issue at hand requires coordination between health and social sectors.
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At the early stages of the Mr. Ian’s case, when LLT adequately partnered with R&R, it was possible to monitor this situation despite the patient’s inability to affect the support groups due to mental issues. According to Mr. Ian’s case, it is clear that when effective relationship partnerships are upheld, support to the client is high. Mr. Ian’s case has several issues that are covered by a different group of people at every stage. During the initial stages, there the teams worked together to form a strong judgment that helped Mr. Ian live for some years before dying in 2015. It was contributed to by effective collaboration between the different partners, which was broken at the later stages. It can be deduced that effective partnership relationships led to more effectual service delivery, efficient and better resourcing, and better policies. In addition, it augments the work rapport in health and social care and thus, makes service provision effectual. To achieve this, the relationship has to be transparent, ethical, respectful, and accountable.
AC 2.1: Different Models of Partnerships
In health and social care sector, the various types of partnership paradigms include research partnerships, education, and training, information, wealth creation, and service improvement, translate research, and learning practices partnership. Just like in Mr. Ian’s case, all the partnerships are formed in accordance with their purposes. Some of these models are naturally formed within organizations (Jelphs and Dickinson 2016, p. 64). In contrast to Mr. Ian’s case, the core function of the partnership is achieved only when the members uphold the correctness and maintain their vision. For innovation partnerships, the relationship is used to identify, spread, and create innovation. Research partnerships are formed to facilitate research and to aid in research materials and support. Education and training are designed to improve the psychological aspects of members and help them seek new skills and knowledge. The parties are free to learn from each other as much as possible.
Several legislative measures steer partnership working in health and social care sectors (Batalden et al. 2016, p. 511). They include the involvement of users during the provision of services. Another legislative measure is seeking the consent of the patient before performing any life-threatening medical treatments. An example of this is the consent that is required before a surgery is performed. If the patient is incapacitated or cannot make their own health decisions, a trusted person authorized by the patient is required. Mr. Ian was able to make his own medical decisions, although he had to be sober before it could be accomplished. Every organization has to ensure that this stipulation is followed strictly.
AC 2.2: The Current Legislation
Local authorities are also expected to formulate and implement policies and strategies with the aim of improving health and social care. Organizations are expected to liaise with the local authorities to ensure that they are following the policies and strategies created correctly. Mr. Ian was constantly sought after by the authorities to ensure that the quality of healthcare provided was the best. According to the case study, the authorities even went to check on him at some point. The Community Care Act of 1990 and the health Act of 1999 were formed to regulate the providence of health and social care, where the government is expected to create a learning environment (Jelphs and Dickinson 2016, p. 72). The Data Protection Act protects patient information from being given to unauthorized individuals. The Human Rights Act ensures that humanity is ensured in all deliberations and acts carried out. There were also the Children’s Act, Mental Capacity Act, Welfare Reform Act and the Equality Act that had the similar mission.
The Care Act of 2014 is comprised of five parts, including care and support, quality of care, health issues, health, and social care. The flow of information and the integration of funds are included in the fourth part of the Act. Therefore, the different professionals in the health and social care sector have to consider and focus on the kind of care and support they provide. Even though the Act generally does not cover most of the minor cases, it emphasizes on the quality of care provided and the sensitivity of the patient and organizational information. Patient information, according to the Act, should only be shared if the person authorizes it or in case it is needed by law enforcers for assessment. The same applies to information regarding the top secret of an organization and its staff.
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The Mental Health Act of 2007, which was used in the case of Mr. Ian, was formulated as an amendment of the one introduced in 1983. In addition, it altered the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act of 2004 (Jelphs and Dickinson 2016, p. 81). As it happened in the Mr. Ian’s case, it is meant to protect health practitioners dealing with patients with mental disorders. It also protects patients and stipulates the effective ways, in which one can receive the effective treatment. It regulates the type of service offered to the mentally ill patients. Chapter two of the act clearly stipulates the roles of physicians handling mentally ill persons. The act also identifies and records regulations aimed at preventing conflict of interest. Issues of consent and the involvement of close relatives into the patient’s decision making are covered in the regulations.
AC 2.3: How Differences in Working Practice and Policies Affect Collaborative Work
Disparity in working customs and policies led to conflicts between members of staff in collaboration groups between health and social care sectors. The Community Care Act of 1990 resulted in separation of roles for the various health sectors present in the country (Acharya 2017, p. 72). The policies regarding health in the country also changed. Even though there is a need to work together for the sake of the patient’s recovery and staff satisfaction, the variation in policies make it hard for the different sectors involved in collaborative work to agree. The case study of Mr. Ian is an excellent example, since it involves an effective partnership between the two sectors. The sectors handling with his health were using different strategies and followed different policies, which led to the emergence of conflicts, which eventually deteriorated his health. This case shows that diverse working practices and policies hamper the effectiveness of collaborative work.
In the best case scenario, the different policies and working traditions can create a vast and diverse pool of experiences. Therefore, it is possible to help each other in situations that need collaboration to get the appropriate solution. For example, Mr. Ian required different sectors to handle his situation, because he was diagnosed with diverse ailments. However, the diverse parties contributed to variation in policies and approaches, which eventually made the problem unresolved. Collaborative working approach in some areas, such as the emergency rooms, parental responsibility, and child welfare, needs to be upheld (Clark, Draper and Rogers 2015, p. 389). To ensure greater effectiveness of diverse policies and working practices, the partnership leaders can institute new policies and traditions that will harmonize the existing abilities. It will facilitate teamwork and preparedness on possible conflicting policies and working practices.
The effective result of collaboration between health and social care units can be emphasized. In Mr. Ian’s case, most of the services offered in health and social care are dependent on each other. At the same time, the different regulations tend to separate the sectors. Most of the parties are bound by laws and thus, professionals are not allowed to perform certain tasks. As a result, they are unable to support their colleagues, when the need arises. Coming together and forming new regulations within the relationships enhances collaboration. Mr. Ian’s case was marked with poor coordination, different policies, and routines of working. As a result, collaboration was negatively affected, which resulted in Mr. Ian’s untimely and unexpected death. Coordination of the working practice and policies in social care and health sectors could have led to a better outcome.
AC 3.1: Possible Outcomes of Partnership Working for Users of Services, Professionals, and Organizations
According to the conducted research, partnership working increases the efficiency of staff, thereby leading to a high-quality service delivery (Clark, Draper, and Rogers 2015, p. 391). The article suggested that increase in the number of workers from different sectors is associated with more efficient performance and better patient care. Even though it was not observed for the case of Mr. Ian, partnerships enable the staff from different sectors to motivate each other, which ensures achieving a common goal of improved patient outcome. Partnership also provides staff with a platform to learn from each other and develop their skills, which indeed helps the service users.
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In a successful partnership, every person involved learns and adapts quickly to the environment, which is a vital skill. They should grasp information and use it to grow their expertise. Professionals in a partnership are trained on proper performance of certain duties, which adds on to their abundant skill sets (Batalden 2016, p. 513). In the Mr. Ian’s case, the involved social care and healthcare professionals learned to handle cases of diverse clients, which improved the outcome. Even though they were not perfect in the partnership, this experience helped them learn different attributes of such interactions, which makes them best prepared for the next possible collaborative work.
When staff in an organization work in partnerships, resources are used prudently and duties are shared equally. This collaboration familiarizes workers with learning opportunities, which lowers the costs that organizations uses for on-job training. The shared resources make it easy for organizations to run low budgets and effectively complete difficult projects. Mr. Ian’s case proves that time spent on solving challenges is reduced and as a result, the organization is able to serve more patients, meeting its targets more effectively. It also creates diversity in the workplace, since professionals come together and form relationships. The flow of new and diverse skills is witnessed and it creates efficiency and reliability for the organization. When employees have a diverse skill set, the organization is able to capitalize on its abilities and satisfy diverse clients. The result of this practice is growth and achievement of visions and goals.
AC 3.2: Potential Barriers to Partnership Working
Misunderstanding between partners is one of the potential barriers to partnership between social and health care sectors. The partners embrace diverse understanding and come from the different organizations to fulfil the common goal. In the case of Mr. Ian, there were constant misunderstandings between the professionals. The occupational therapist and the community support worker, who were at some point assigned to deal with the problems experienced by the patient, seemed to disagree on the importance of various issues. When Mr. Ian was admitted due to a urinary tract infection, the doctors informed other social workers, but the community social work and occupational therapist became less involved, yet they were supposed to be handling the case. The review team felt that the occupational therapist’ failure to record chronic issues and to complete the risk assessment report were a significant oversight. The disagreements were caused by working in partnership, whereby members were not focused on fulfilling the same goal due to misunderstandings.
The other critical barrier to partnership working is ineffective communication. If communication breaks at any point in partnership, efficiency is affected. Every person involved in the case has to receive communication clearly and on time. Unskilled or inexperienced staff is another barrier. The challenge is that one is unable to train staff from other organizations (Batalden 2016, p. 511). They are forced to work together and tolerate the many mistakes caused by lack of experience and skills. In other cases, there is a difference between the rules, regulations, and procedures used in different organizations. The distinction acts as a barricade to successful partnership. Reduced or reluctant commitment to the projects in some of the organizations and partners is also a challenge. Ideally, the accumulation of all these factors hinders the partnership between health and social care sectors.
AC 3.3: Strategies to Improve Outcomes for Partnerships Workings in Health and Social Care Services
For the benefit of both the health and social care centres and the patients, working in partnerships needs to be encouraged. Even though lot of problems and barriers exist, it is essential for any health facility and care centre to exercise it. From Mr. Ian’s case study, it is clear that partnership can be chaotic, if not lead and conducted wisely. Therefore, coming up with several strategies that can help avoid the barriers and reduce challenges will significantly change the narrative. One of the recommendable strategies is appointing a strong leader with good decision-making skills. The leader will organize the team and ensure that they have successful meetings that will provide solutions to any challenge.
Another issue that Mr. Ian’s case revealed was ineffective communication between units. The way information was passed across the team left them confused. The effective strategy would be to identify a communication approach that fits the needs and features of the case. The leader should make all relevant suggestions on communication and become the first person to be contact in case of problem (Baker, El Ansari, and Crone 2017, p. 91). If any abrupt decision needs to be done, the leader will be tasked with the role of informing the relevant persons and guiding them accordingly. It will help avoid conflicts and confusions experienced in Mr. Ian’s case. Therefore, the leader needs to be an experienced person, who can be trusted to make sound judgments and decisions.
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Another strategy would be to ensure that all staff members are skilled enough to handle every case. Presence of staff members without skills in a team leads to demotivating of the skilled persons, since they will constantly need to provide assistance for their co-workers. It will delay the case unnecessarily and cause inconveniences. Experience may not be an issue, if the persons are fast learners and willing to be taught. The last strategy is to ensure that all members are well recognized for their efforts and that they are constantly motivated. Motivated staff member is always ready to work and contribute to the positive growth of the organization (Unit 5 Working in Partnership – HND Health & Social Care 2019). In essence, when a staff’s efforts are recognized, the person feels wanted and appreciated.
The last strategy could be devising clear roles for every person involved in the working partnership. Having well-defined roles will enable every person become accountable and ready to work on their roles. When everyone is performing their duties correctly, mistakes can be avoided. Some of the barriers, such as mistrust and laxity, will not be experienced, since every member works towards fulfilling their roles. When there is clear sharing of responsibilities, communication can be conducted effectively. The decision-making process also becomes easy and fast. Patient care is improved as well, since every person is working and developing their side. In Mr. Ian’s case, the laxity shown by the occupational therapist would not have been witnessed, if roles had been clear.
Thus, social care and health sectors can interact to improve the lives of the patients, if the correct collaborative approach is applied. Based on the conducted research, partnership is beneficial for the organization, the user, and the professionals. Its importance ranges from harmonizing the employees to working as a source of motivation for them. It makes organizations reliable and creates rapport between the employer and the employees. Partnerships improve the quality of services provided and protect patients against any undesired issues. Nevertheless, they face a number of hurdles that ought to be addressed. The constant misunderstandings and conflicts reduce the effectiveness of care provided for the patient. From the case study, it is clear that lack of cooperation and commitment, poor decision making and lack of a stable leadership can paralyze efforts to stabilize the partnership environment. To overcome these challenges, such strategies as appointing a strong leader, devising effective communication methods, and keeping skilled and motivated staff should be recommended.