“Describe the roles and responsibilities of four members of the Multidisciplinary Team who you have observed planning and implementing care for one child and family.”
The majority of practitioners who work in healthcare are trained to function both independently and autonomously (Soothill et al 1995). There can be many challenges when working as part of a team, Soothill et al (1995) acknowledges this by stating, “learning to work with many different types of professionals in a multidisciplinary team can be extremely difficult” (pg 5). However, before going further, it is first of all important to define, what is meant by inter-professional working (or multidisciplinary teams)? Barrett et al (2005) states that inter-professional working requires that individuals from different professions and agencies to work together. However within the context of health care, the service user is the patient. Hoffman et al (2007) describes inter-professional care as being “a patient-centred, team-based approach to health and social care and it is through this synergy that the strength and skills of each contributing health and social worker is maximised, thus increasing the quality of patient/service user care” (pg 2). Research, as identified by Hoffman et al (2007) supports the idea of inter-professional collaboration by stating that “it lowers patient mortality, improves patient safety, improves health services, reduces hospitalisation and associated costs, enhances patient satisfaction, improves levels of innovation in patient care, increases staff motivation, well-being and retention” (pg2).
However, as highlighted before, effective inter-professional working can be difficult to achieve. Barriers such as lack of recognition or respect for another professionals’ occupation, poor knowledge within own occupation, fear and even lack of trust of the perspectives of other occupational groups can hinder inter-professional working (Soothill et al 1995). In the Working Together: Securing a Quality Workforce for the NHS, published by the Department of Health (1998), a strong emphasis is placed upon the government’s aim to break down barriers between organisations, as to provide integrated services by pulling together the right teams to meet the needs of users of the National Health Service. Barrett et al (2005) suggests six principles for effective inter-professional working. These are knowledge of other professionals’ roles, willing participation, confidence, open and honest communication, trust and mutual respect and power sharing. It is important to be aware of these principles when working within a multi-disciplinary team as if not it can cause the team to break down and can potentially result in detrimental consequences for the patients whom their care is being managed (Soothill et al 1995). An example of this can be seen in the Victoria Climbie case. Poor communication could be viewed as the main factor for the breakdown in the management of her care. The speech by Lord Laming on the 25th January 2003 highlights the core problems of the care she received. Issues such as inadequate recording of information and actions, assumptions and expectations that ‘things would happen’ or be ‘taken up by someone else’ demonstrates the need for health professionals to share information and to ensure that agreed actions are carried out (www.victoria-climbie-inquiry.org.uk).
As it has now been clear to understand the meaning of inter-professional working, how it can affect the patient, the professionals within the care team and also the principles of effective inter-professional working, this now lays the foundation for the purpose of this assignment. In this assignment, a patient with a health need, whose care was observed in practice, will be utilised in order to explore the roles of four specific members of the multidisciplinary team (MDT) in this patient’s care. The roles of these members will be described, how they addressed the needs of the...
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