Exploration of Interprofessional Issues Presented in a Chosen Scenario

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This paper aims to discuss, using appropriate literature, the concept of inter-professional working (IPW) in light of a chosen scenario. I will provide a brief introduction whilst examining the issues, key players and challenges presented by the scenario by comparing, contrasting and evaluating my findings in order to make recommendations for future practice. Øvretveit et al (1997) suggests IPW is a multifaceted collaboration of professionals from diverse disciplines working as one to achieve optimum care. According to Morgan (2009) the development of IPW was brought about by ever influencing needs of society whereby there has been a call for closer communication and collaboration between all healthcare professionals to share responsibility for patient care. In light of high profile cases such as the Bristol Inquiry (DH, 2001b), Victoria Climbie Inquiry (DH, 2003) and recently Lord Laming’s report on Baby P (Telegraph, 2011) a convincing rationale for IPW is widely accepted by the NHS. IPW has become a commanding force, which according to Leathard (2003) has been spear-headed by government objectives to improve working partnerships. Legislation promoting IPW such as Making a Difference (DH, 1999) suggests effective care is the product of IPW, testifying professionals who work collaboratively provide care to meet patient needs. This concept was further promoted with the publication of The NHS Plan (DH, 2000) aimed at creating a service designed around patient needs whilst The National Service Framework for Older People (DH, 2001) identified eight standards aiming to ensure older people are treated as individuals and receive optimum care to meet holistic needs, therefore promoting the importance of IPW for future practice. The government white paper Our health, Our Care, Our Say (DH 2006) further promotes IPW whereby health and social care professionals are encouraged to work together in partnership to meet patient needs. This shift in attitude towards healthcare is instrumental in shaping the way in which IPW is viewed today (Leathard, 2003). The chosen scenario enabling a discussion on the importance of IPW can be seen in appendix 1. In relation to this scenario research by the RCN (2006) highlights effective IPW has the ability to improve stroke care; as each professional plays a vital role in the patients’ journey. The NHS Plan (DH, 2000a) uses this evidence to promote IPW and close working partnerships, however Leathard (2003) argues IPW may pose issues in itself. Qualitative case studies by Baxter and Brumfit (2008) explore issues impacting on function, team relationships and communication. Saks (2000) proposes healthcare professionals face ongoing issues in establishing position and status, furthermore, a literature review by Larkin and Callaghan (2005) describe communication and decision making as fundamental issues for effective IPW, with Cook et al (2001) proposing decision making fails as consideration of the purpose, aims and context of IPW is not taken into account. Consequently, in relation to the scenario; communication, leadership and decision making are essential issues to be addressed to meet the physical, emotional and psychological needs of the patient. This can be achieved by promoting interprofessional learning through education which Morgan (2009) highlights is essentially being implemented in Universities today. The scenario relates to a patient who has had a stroke, therefore for this assignment research has been based on the importance of IPW in stroke care. In 2007 the National Stroke Strategy (NSS), (DH, 2008) made recommendations for IPW in stroke care, aided by current guidelines and systematic reviews, as a result the Department of Health (DOH) commissioned an analysis of the evidence to identify areas needing further research (Wolfe, 2008). The findings highlighted, though the NSS endorsed IPW, optimal configuration of the IPW team was not specified, as a result the Intercollegiate Stroke...
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