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Inter Professional Working

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1.Understand the principles of inter-professional working within health and social care or children and young people’s setting.

1.1 Analyse how inter-professional working promotes positive outcomes for individuals. Inter professional working is formed from different health and social care professionals working together towards a common goal to meet the needs of a service user. It is about developing relationships within and between organisations and services involved in planning and delivering care and support to the service users we support. By working collaboratively it brings together different types of professionals to share their particular knowledge, experience, skills, occupational values and perspectives to improve service outcomes and the experience of the individuals we support. By using the combined expertise and resources of professionals we gain a better understanding of the service user and this enables us to build a better picture centred on the service user and their needs to ensure appropriate and effective levels of care and support.

Working in partnership creates a clear understanding of the different roles each person has. Clear responsibilities and lines of communication lead to successful partnership working, by sharing records like written, email, fax, face to face and working effectively together with people and professionals, agencies and organisations aim to enhance the wellbeing of service users and support positive and improved outcomes. Good partnership working between individuals and health and social care providers can also encourage compliance with care and support from the service user.

There are however complexities to inter-professional working. We have to ensure we are working in line with our own policies, procedures and aims and objectives of our service, and also ensure we are working within the law, for example Data Protection Act, Human Rights Act, Mental Health Act, Disability discrimination Act, Equality & Diversity and also CQC regulations and national minimum standards. Time is an area where barriers are common. We need to take into account professionals busy schedules when arranging meetings as different professionals have different work patterns and different priorities than others, there is also an issue with the time spent travelling to and from meetings. There can also be financial barriers, are the professionals required to attend meetings and case conferences available within their regular working hours and if not is there money within the organisations budget to allow for the extra time required. Information sharing also poses constraints, not only reluctance to share information but also the way in which information is kept within each organisation. Terminology and jargon can also cause problems we may not fully understand what is being said.

By working closely with other professionals we can overcome theses barriers, we can enhance our knowledge and understanding of each other’s roles which then gives a better understanding of how we all approach care from a different perspective. This results in providing quality care and support from a range of professionals who have the service user at the centre of the whole process achieving better outcomes for the individuals we support. Building and maintaining good working relationships is very important and this is achieved by recognising and respecting the roles, responsibilities, interests and concerns of the service user and all professionals involved in their support package. Consultation with all professionals and also our colleagues is important with regard to key decisions and activities to take into account each other’s priorities, expectations and attitudes to potential risks.

Families/carers need to understand that there may be restrictions on activities and tasks within the service due to legislation and policies and procedures and this needs explaining to them, similarly there may be activities or tasks family/carers are not happy with and we need to accept this and seek further guidance from other professionals where necessary. Good working relationships are built over time, this creates trust, respect and smooth running of the service. This is apparent at reviews and other meetings when everyone involved with an individual will be brought up to date with any progress or issues. Then any decisions or agreements can be made because everyone involved has an opportunity to voice their opinions/concerns. This leads to a positive outcomes supported by all involved. If there have been previous agreed actions not carried out then this environment makes it easier to remind others of the things that need completing. Also if others are having difficulties in fulfilling their agreements then they will find it easier to ask for help.

Respect for each other should be maintained, remembering that we are all working for the best possible outcome for the individual. There is a need to monitor and review working relationships, if conflict or lack of communication is a problem there is a need to establish a reason for this and look for a resolution acceptable to all parties and identify areas for improvement. One way to maintain a good working relationship is to have regular contact not only verbal but face to face contact through meetings at least monthly, this provides opportunity to discuss any concerns or maybe just have a chat about things in general, also keep in touch via email and telephone. It can create problems if the only contact they have is when there are problems as this may give them a negative view of the service.

The staff I manage are encouraged to seek guidance and advice from me on a day to day basis and also more formally through supervision. I have built good relationships with all staff and encourage staff to enhance their skills and knowledge. It is important to listen as well as give advice, sometimes issues/conflict can be picked up quickly if you are a good listener. Being aware of your staff’s skills is really important and I support staff who struggle in some areas and encourage staff who excel in others. Equal opportunities are essential to a happy team, a happy team is usually more productive, valuing each person and the diversity within the team brings its own rewards and benefits, encouraging creativity and innovation. Being able to assess the skills of all staff is very important it enables you to plan, structure and implement goals and objectives, identify, skills and training needs, thus promoting their continuing professional development. This is done through formal supervision, team meetings, one to one discussions and through observation of their daily tasks.

My job role is to manage the service and supervise staff to ensure every individual receiving a service from us has a complete care package tailored to their needs. A recent situation relating to a service user we provide support to required working in partnership with other professionals and the individual’s family member. This involved a large network of people and the decisions and actions we made, were led by the Care Quality Commission, national minimum standards and government legislation including: Health & Social Care Act

Mental Capacity Act
Mental Health Act
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
Community Care Act
Equality Act
Disability Discrimination Act
Data Protection Act
Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

Mr A was diagnosed with a degenerative mental health condition and was living at home with family. Due to a deterioration in his condition we were approached by his CPN and a support package was requested, our service was commissioned to provide a 24hr supported living service, the support was to be provided in conjunction with a day centre service during the day and our supported living service during the evening and overnight. Due to the complexity of his condition and multiple providers involved weekly progress meetings were held between all professionals involved in planning, delivering and maintaining his support in the community. The purpose of the meetings was to discuss his transition into the services (supported living and day centre) and to identify aims and objectives for his ongoing support. From the outset each professional’s role and responsibility was identified so each member had clarity on what was expected from them.

The meetings were facilitated by the CPN who was the lead professional in this case, the CPN had worked with Mr A for a number of years and was aware of his wishes for the future, it was her role to apply for the funding and ensure the highest level of care was provided. It was our role to ensure continuity of care between his home environment and the day service he attended. The meeting was a forum to work with others to discuss his future and ongoing care needs and planning, OT needs and maintaining family relationships with his partner and children. With the day services and supported living working closely together we were able to identify a rapid deterioration in his health and wellbeing which resulted in admission to hospital, while in hospital he deteriorated further which resulted in further nursing care requirements. It was felt by us that we could no longer safely maintain his support at home and a best interest meeting was called.

This involved several professionals and his partner meeting to discuss his future and where he would be best cared for. The professionals at the meeting were his partner, ward sister, speech and language therapist, psychiatrist, CPN, day service manager, supported living manager and supported living coordinator. All professional discussed the support needs including skin care, nutritional requirements and nursing care. Due to his ongoing nursing requirements for example, he now required peg feed and suction support. We discussed how we would support him at home if he was discharged from hospital. Each partner discussed their thoughts and feelings regarding his support going forward and due to all the complexities with his current condition it was agreed by all professionals that it would not be in his best interests to return home and he would be better cared for in 24hr residential nursing care setting.

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