Debate on whether multi-disciplinary teams work

We asked people:- Do multi disciplinary teams really
work in practice?

Here are some of the comments we received.

“Multi-disciplinary teams only work if each worker’s role
is clearly defined and the manager and team members have a good
understanding of each worker’s role and responsibilities.
There needs to be clear and open lines of communication within the
team and from management.

Where the teams are working with children, the plan around the
child needs to take into account all of the child’s needs, looking
at the child and his/her environment holistically.

Without the above, multi-disciplinary teams do not work in
practice, however, the basic concept of a multi-disciplinary team
has the potential to provide a good package of care around a

Social Worker
Long-term Team

“Teams do not work because of their name. They work when
members are committed to the same task and respect and understand
the role of each individual.

Teams work best when there is a common value base and a desire
to improve situations.

If the above is present then yes, multi-disciplinary teams do
work, and usually very hard!”
Anne McCloskey
Social Worker
Adult Learning Disability Team

“I manage an integrated Community Mental Health Team and I
think it works well. I think the team think this too, but I could
be deluded.

Generally the feedback from service-users is good – they seem to
like having access to all disciplines.  There are also advantages
for both health and social service workers, when it works, and
there is a greater understanding of what roles really are. 

I think service users get a service which better meets their
needs as a result.  This is especially so as all of our team,
including the social worker, community psychiatric nurse,
occupational therapist, psychiatry, psychology, support staff are
all based in the same building.

However, the comments we get are from those people who want to
comment and it may well be the case that there are lots of people
who think differently but keep their thoughts to themselves.

Gordon Kennedy

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