Edited by Audrey Leathard.
Partnership, collaboration and multi-disciplinary working are key drivers of the government’s health and social care policies. Here are reflections by practitioners who have been arguing the cause of inter-professional work for more than a decade.
When inter-professional collaboration is seen uncritically as a “good thing”, it is worthwhile to ask just what is so good about it. Does it enhance skills? Does it lead to more efficient working? Does it allow less skilled personnel to take on previously specialist functions?
There is a useful glossary of the many existing partnerships and the sometimes muddled thinking underpinning them. The authors spell out the benefits of joint work in terms of shared knowledge and resources, job satisfaction, and complementary skills in the service of users.
They are, however, not blind to the real challenges in terms of professional and personal resistance and the difficulty in achieving the inter-professional education that can shift entrenched attitudes.
This excellent book is written at the high tide of collaborative working. Producing hard evidence of the benefits is the next challenge.
Terry Bamford is a member of the General Social Care Council.