Collaborative Working

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PLO400
Foundations of Learning and Collaborative Working
“Discuss the concept of collaborative working within your professional area” To be able to understand the rationale, the different factors influencing the outcome of collaborative working and how this can be applied to Perioperative practice, it is important to have a sound understanding of the concept “Collaborative Working.” This concept has many terminological variations, one of the more frequently used is “Inter-professional working.” Hornby and Atkins (2000) state that collaborative working is “a relationship between two or more people, groups or organisations, working together to define and achieve a common purpose.” Barrett et al (2005) declares that inter-professional working is “the process whereby members of different professions and/or agencies work together to provide integrated health and/or social care for the benefit of service users.” Disregarding what is seen as the correct/incorrect terminology, the common denominator here is that all health care staff/ agencies’ are working together to provide the best healthcare possible for patients and service users. There have been many debates about the variation in terminology, Leathard (1994:5) refers to it as “terminological quagmire” that has been created due to rapid developments in practice, and in her analysis of terms, Leathard (1994:6) prefers to use the term multi-professional as it “infers a wider group of professionals.” In this instance the term “Collaborative working” will be used. Over the years there have been many drivers behind the rationale for collaborative working dating as far back as the 1960’s in the USA, where Henderson (1966) reports that “one hospital has weekly inter-professional ward conferences.” The idea of collaborative working is therefore not a relatively new concept. In recent years increased emphasis has been placed on collaborative working and the need to work together due to changes in technology, accountability and government reports. Technological advances such as telecommunication is now used by surgical staff to live feed surgical procedures to other parts of the world. This has aided remote-area surgeons in their own practices (Shields & Werder 2002) Similarly, the introduction of the National Health Service (NHS) direct advice line has created a way in which doctors can consult patients over the telephone. However a study by the Economic and Social Research Council (2005) concluded that “telemedicine is disappearing” compared to NHS direct advice line. The introduction to new machinery which takes blood pressures automatically rather than manually, this and other technological advances have all required healthcare staff to change the ways in which they work collaboratively. On the other hand, Government reports also change the way in which healthcare professionals work as they are often mandatory measures. The NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) was introduced in 1999 under the Agenda for Change. Day (2006) claims that the use of KSF will “enable team leaders to identify gaps in the knowledge and skills of their inter-professional teams.” KSF is an essential requirement carried out every year to ensure pay progressions. Collaborative working is also brought about by accountability. All healthcare professionals are governed by a professional body such as the Health Professions Council (HPC) in which it is their duty to ensure compliance with the legislation on the use of protected titles (HPC, 2008) Not only are registrants accountable to the HPC they are also accountable to statutory and criminal law which means healthcare professionals must interact with patients and staff...
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