Anne’s overall view of the inter-professional collaboration within the Mental Health Unit was that they all worked together very effectively in order to meet the needs of the service user, and that it is not only the service user that benefits from the collaboration, but the professionals also gain a widened experienced and gain a better knowledge basis, for example Anne know has reasonable knowledge about the health side of Mental Health as well as the Social Work viewpoint.
The third observation that I attended was a Child Protection Case Conference at Burnley General Hospital. Two young girls, aged 7 weeks and 1 year, had been admitted to hospital with several injuries, mainly fractures to their arms and legs, and had been put in temporary foster care. The purpose of the meeting was to try and establish the extent of the injuries as well as the possible causes, and to determine whether or not to put the children on the Child Protection Register, and if so under what category.
Each of the professionals that were invited to the meeting by phone as this was an emergency meeting. The professionals that attended the meeting were the health visitor, the doctor sent his apologies, the doctor from the hospital that attended the girls’ injuries, the police, the social worker that was handling the case, the parents and their support, and a chairman and secretary to conduct the meeting and take the minutes of the meeting.
Each of the professionals took their turn to speak about the girls and their parents, the health visitor expressed her views on how well she thought the parents were managing and whether she thought they were good parents, the doctor from the hospital gave details of the injuries and how they would probably have occurred, the police informed the group about their investigations as well as the social worker giving her own report of the circumstances. Each of these reports were also given to the chairman to be put on file in case they were needed in the future.
After they had each given their views they then discussed the care of the children, and the parents gave their consent for the children to stay with foster parents, although they were told that if they did not do this then they would go to court and get an emergency care order to keep the girls in care. As well as this, the group also made the decision to put the girls on the child protection register under the categories of abuse and neglect. I felt that this particular experience was very worthwhile, and it was very useful to see so many professionals in the same room collaborating together.
Vanclay (1996) tells us that in order to maintain good collaboration between agencies it is important to understand the roles of others, as well as the responsibilities of others, and it is important to share information and not see other agencies as threatening. The conference made me aware of just how many agencies are involved with each service user, and the result of the meeting was very conclusive and informative for all the agencies present, which showed me that the professionals involve were all collaborating effectively in order to reach a good outcome for the girls.
After the meeting everyone who attended was sent a copy of the minutes, as the reports were also filed with the rest of the girls’ case file in case they were needed at a later date. The effectiveness of Inter-professional Collaboration “The End goal is to provide a high quality of comprehensive services to those who seek assistance from the helping professions” (Thompson, 2006, p2)
From the range of observations that I attended as well as my own experience within the Action Learning Set it is easy to understand why the concept of inter-professional collaboration was introduced. When put in place effectively the use of inter-professional collaboration can make the outcome for the service user much better than if the agencies worked alone, and also makes the individual agencies’ roles much easier as they have much more information to use when assessing the service user’s needs and how the are going to help them.
As I said earlier, the concept of collaboration is one that is seen to be very promising and effective, but in reality it is much more difficult to achieve, and the breakdown of communication and conflict of interests can make the original job much harder than it was before the introduction of collaboration. Sussex (2004) shows us a ladder of collaboration, and shows us 7 points that aid effective collaboration.
These points include being aware of the roles of others, as well as being aware that they exist in the first instance; you need to find out who is involved in the case and refer to other agencies (Sussex, 2004). As collaboration becomes more effective you will begin to liaise more with other agencies involved with the service user, and in time conduct regular meetings in order to achieve the best outcome foe the service user, and eventually, when collaboration is at its most effective, you will begin to invite outside agencies to meetings within your own agency (Sussex, 2004).
It becomes apparent that if each professional has a strong professional identity then collaboration is good, whereas a weak professional identity can lead to problems as the worker is unsure of their own role (Sussex, 2004). 2729 Words 12 Pages.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Freeth, D. (2001) Sustaining Inter-professional Collaboration. Journal of Interprofessional Care. Volume 15, No 1 Hunt, M. (1983) Possibilities and problems of interdisciplinary teamwork. London; Churchill Livingstone Larkin, C. and Callaghan, P.(2005) Professionals’ perceptions of Interprofessional working in community mental health teams. Journal of Interprofessional Care. Volume 19, No 4 Leathard, A. (2003) Interprofessional Collaboration.
Hove; Brunner-Routledge Molyneux, J. (2001) Interprofessional team working: what makes a team work well? Journal of Interprofessional Care. Volume 15, No 1 Quinney, A. (2005) Collaborative Social Work Practice. Exeter; Learning Matters Sussex, F. and Scourfield, P. (2004) Social Care for Level 4. Oxford; Heinemann Thompson, A.(2006) Interprofessional Collaboration Process (InternetReference www. osu. edu/ico/CD_Files/Pdf_Docs/Interprofessioal_Coll. pdf Accessed 24/04/2006) Vanclay, L. (1996) Sustaining Collaboration between general practitioners and social workers. London;
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