Working in Partnership Nursing Essay

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Mohrman et al (1995, quoted in Arthur H et al, 2003, p.87) defines a team as “a group of individuals who work together to produce products or delivery services for which they are mutually accountable.” This essay will aim to critically analyse the team worked with through the last placement rotation to determine the effectiveness of how they collaborated and functioned together. It will be structured around the ‘7S framework’ (Peters et al, 1982) which looks at strategy, structure, systems, skills, staff, style and shared values. These are all the aspects which have an affect on the capability of the team to work collaboratively together to meet the service user’s needs. Although many parts of the ‘7S framework’ interlink, they will be assessed one by one to see how each section of the framework affects the functioning of the team. The environment being analysed was based on an ophthalmic ward which was made up of a range of professional and non-professional group members such as the doctors, nurses, anaesthetists, healthcare assistants, house keepers, administration staff, and of course, the service users. For confidential reasons no staff, clients or hospital names will be used from where the placement took place at. (NMC, 2004)

The first section from the ‘7S framework’ this essay will address is strategy. The need for both public involvement and partnerships between service providers is reflected in recent policies, such as The New NHS: Modern Dependable. (DOH, 1997) The strategy of this is aimed to make teams work more co-operatively providing a better service for the client. The government also initiated Health Action Zones which set out partnership arrangements between the NHS, local authorities, community groups, and the voluntary and business sectors to develop and implement a health strategy to deliver within certain areas. (DOH, 1998) In the NHS, due to the new higher levels of resources and technology, ophthalmic service users can be treated as day case clients. This was clearly a very successful strategy for cost efficiency while still addressing the needs of the service user and providing a high quality of care. This success was helped by collaborative team members having good key skills such as communication and planning. Using this strategy also meant that there was minimum disruption to the service user’s lifestyle and routine so it would therefore be less stressful on the client, and the ward would have lower infection rates then inpatient surgical wards which showed to be evident as none were recorded. (Stanford P, 1998)

Structure is an area which is constantly being modified in the NHS. The government promotes choice and control for service users and is included in policies such as The NHS Improvement Plan, (DOH, 2004) which talks about service users becoming more involved in the planning and prioritisation of service delivery. This relates to the structure of the ophthalmic ward as with the majority of surgery being day case, it was evidently approved by clients as they often expressed how happy they were that they could go home on the same day so it was much less traumatic for them.

However, due to the change in structure currently happening in the NHS the ward was in the middle of being moved and was fragmented between two hospitals and several different units which was not very efficient for service users who had to have pre and post-operation checks between them. Although the structure being disjointed for a period of time may have been less efficient, key skills such as communication made it possible for the ward to run smoothly by making sure the service user was always informed of exactly where they should be by verbal and written communication. With staff having to be split up between two hospitals and different units, they had to be very alert of how the structure worked. When one area had a shortage of staff they would always organise some staff from another to go and help. This...
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