The intention of this essay is to explore inter professional working and the impact it has on the quality of health care delivered within a mental health setting. For this purpose I have reflected on a previous placement where I worked in an acute mental health treatment ward and on the formative assessment assigned to me within this module.
Inter professional working in a health care setting involves different health care professionals working together in a collaborative fashion, this ensures the highest quality of care is delivered to service users (Day, J 2005). It is suggested that the collaborative nature of inter professional working will lead to information and knowledge being shared amongst professionals within a team, which will ultimately lead to improved judgement when providing care and creating a higher bench mark for quality care (DOH 2007).
In the NHS, it is stated that quality is defined by doing the right thing in the right way at the right time in the right place with the right result (NHS 2012). Lord Darzi’s High Quality Care for all (2008) states that delivering quality healthcare includes providing patients and the public with effective safety, cleanliness, delivery of care as well as a good patient experience and the consideration of patient dignity and respect . To assure that quality care is being provided, quality is externally and internally measured and evaluated. Within a healthcare setting it is measured at three levels. The national level includes audits, staff surveys, patient surveys and mortality and morbidity rates. The strategic level includes clinical governance, benchmarking and meetings amongst high level staff. The clinical level includes protocols, care pathways, complaints made by patients and infection control (CQC 2011). Within the NHS another element in the provision of quality, is the implementation of national service frameworks. These are implemented to make sure clear quality requirements are set and that the most up to date evidence based practice is working effectively in a given setting (DOH 2011).
Following exploration of the literature for interprofessional working, three key issues identified are communication, culture and knowledge of professional roles (Pollard, K et al 2005). In regards to communication with in the team, to be able to provide holism in regards to a patients care all professionals within the team must engage in clear and open communication (Ellis. R et al 2003). It is essential that all of the professionals’ views and perspectives are heard and taken into consideration when implementing care. Although there are clear advantages to open communication there are often barriers that inhibit this practice. Lack of knowledge or the stereotyping of other professions can lead to ideas, recommendations and perspectives of an individual not being heard or taken into consideration. This can ultimately affect the quality of care delivered to a service user (Barret,G et al 2005). In order to overcome such barriers, trust and respect of fellow professionals must be present. If the environment is lacking in trust and respect, it may result in professionals protecting their roles and justifying actions. This can then result in a closed working environment, where professionals do not learn from shared experiences and constructive criticism is not welcomed. Collectively this can impede on the holistic and collaborative nature required in the delivery of healthcare (Day, J 2005).
In order to approach care holistically, each member of the interprofessional team must have awareness and knowledge of the different professional roles within the team. This is due to the fact that conducting a holistic assessment is beyond the scope of any individual professional. Lack of knowledge of the roles of other professions and the boundaries of an...