What is integrated working in health and social care? Integrated working focuses on enabling, and encouraging professionals to work together effectively, to deliver frontline services. It is achieved through collaboration and coordination, at all levels, and across all agencies . It is used so there is a greater degree of structural integration and this therefore benefits the service user. It is based around the needs and choices of the individual and is focused on the prevention of admission to hospital or the dependency of long term care. There are many reasons as to why integrated working is a good thing. Evidence that I have found, both from course materials, and from other sources, show immediate intervention, effective leadership, a shared vision, mutual trust and interpersonal relationships, effective and regular communication, and also decisions being made collectively, are the biggest benefits to that of integrated working.
For integrated working to be effective and worthwhile, many things need to be incorporated and put in place. I will summarise these below.
•Have a clear set of objectives
•Have an agreed and achievable set of objectives
•Having multi-agency management to ensure smooth running
•Have a high level of organisational commitment
•If possible, use those who have most experience in integrated working to participate •Have adequate resources and good administrative support
•If possible, work with agencies that you have been successful with before. •Be aware of the up to date use of Information technology, and that of sharing relevant information •Ensure policies and procedures are fully adhered to, and always ensure they are fully up to date •Ensure that full trust and responsibility from all agencies are present at all times (Roe, 2007)
This leads me on to my first article. The first article I have chosen is Changing stress while stressing change: The role of inter-professional education in mediating stress in the introduction of a trans-formative technology . This study was used to explore the potential of an inter-professional education approach to mediating stress. There were three types of professionals who were used for this study. They were oncologists, physicists and therapists from radiation medicine. Fourteen interviews were carried out and participants’ all noted their stresses in understanding and adapting to new technology. The use of inter-professional education was used to offer common terminology to all three groups, alongside an appreciation for one another’s knowledge, and lastly, a holistic framework for practice.
The first major barrier to integrated working that I came across in this study, was that, not appreciating, or making use of each other’s knowledge base was perceived as stressful and this lead to inefficiencies, or shortcomings in practice. This means that the three professional respondents in this study did not allow themselves to become familiar or learn the other participants’ correct terminology that they used and understood in their everyday work. This held the three parties back considerably, and lead to much more stress in their own job, and that in the aspect of integrated working. Howarth et al (cited in The Open University, 2010, p.78) found, that for integrated working across different professions and agencies to work effectively, there must be an awareness of the individual role, and expected input of that certain team member was also essential . To...