Introduction on Working in Partnership
Partnership working basically is a concept of developing inclusive and mutually beneficial relationships to improve quality of health care services (Warner, 2006). It could include associations between patients and health care providers with a view to enhance the experience as well as care services. Herein, working in partnership can be termed as associations within and between organizations plus services in planning along with delivering health care services. The present report is an attempt to understand different philosophies of partnership in the industry and also to determine ways in which positive partnership working can be promoted. Further, the report would also analyse outcomes of partnership working for users, professionals and organizations in Health and Social Care industry (HSC).
i) Philosophy of working in partnership in health and social care
Partnership working is a very crucial aspect of working of organizations in HSC industry as they enable such firms to work in an efficient and effective manner (McKeown, Malihi-Shoja and Downe, 2011). To be able to do so, it is imperative that different concepts and philosophies are used. There are many kinds of philosophies present which determine the way in which such organization can work in partnership with others in HSC industry. One of them is that of 'Respect'. For institutions in this industry, it is crucial that they treat every person associated with workings of the industry in some or the other manner to treat one another with great respect. For firms operating in this sector, it is crucial that they treat each other respectfully (Health and social care working in partnership, 2007). This is mainly because of reason that it would help them to work in an effective manner and be able to attain their goals and objectives with great ease and comfort along with providing effective and successful care services to the patients. Herein, it is important to note that companies operating in HSC industry must consider every person equal and also take into consideration their views and opinions or suggestions properly. Another philosophy of working in partnership in HSC is 'Making informed choices'. It states that every party associated in the concept of developing a partnership is that they should disclose every piece of information related to such workings and make their decisions based on the same (McGorry and et. al, 2010).
ii) How the organization has linked with others to develop joint service provision
Care UK has taken numbers of steps to be able to work in partnership with other entities working in the industry with great ease and comfort. For instance, it has partnered with NHS to develop special guidelines on treating and caring children with learning disability. In this regard, first step that they have taken is to understand the child's problem (Kelly and Jones, 2013). This would enable authorities to determine the real issue that this child may be facing and then only the most appropriate solution can be determined for the same.
iii) With users of services
HSC organizations have to build and maintain relations with a great number of people and entities. One of the most important ones are with users of services. It is crucial to evaluate the relationship between care users and care providers (Reeves and et. al, 2011). For health care organizations, it is important that they maintain and develop healthy relations with their patients such as mental health patients. To evaluate such relationships, an effective way is to assess how the individuals are being treated in the care home. If they are treated with respect and proper attention is being given to them, then it can be said that effective relations have been developed by the care home with such users.
iv) With external professional individuals
Another very crucial relationship that needs to be assessed is the association that healthcare firms share with other professionals. These can be in the form of social workers, therapist, educationalists, etc. To be able to work effectively in such partnerships, it is essential that relationship with other such professionals is evaluated (Towill, 2009). The way to assess is by measuring the quality of association that these share with one another. Herein, if external professionals have a good rapport with the healthcare firm, then it can be said that a healthy relationship exists amongst them.
v) With other organizations
One of the most critical aspects of working in partnership in HSC is that related to developing associations with different organizations operating in the industry. Healthcare firms can develop relations with bodies such as NHS and other regulatory bodies, care organizations, etc. (Woerkum and Aarts, 2008). The best way to evaluate relationship between the two is to assess how effectively and collaboratively with one another. If such a situation does not exist then it can be said that association between them are not good. Healthcare Management an effective manner with organizations and bodies such as charitable entities, then it may not be wrong to assume that relationship between them would be an effective one (Tribe, 2009).
There can be a large variety of agreements and relationships that may be considered by authorities of a care home before deciding to work in partnership with one another. Building such agreements is imperative so as to be able to effectively operate in close association and relations with different bodies or entities and/or persons (Samuel, 2011). There are various kinds of agreements which can be considered in this regard. In the following paragraphs, such relationships have been discussed.
Multi-Area Agreements (MAA)
It is an English Political framework which was aimed at encouraging and promoting cross boundary partnership at regional and sub-regional levels. They are voluntary agreements between two or more top tier organizations in an area. Herein, focus of such agreements is on improving quality of lifestyle in a community and also to help it progress at a rapid pace in economic terms (Leathard and McLaren, 2007). Such kinds of agreements have proved to be of great importance for various kinds of industries in the country, especially the health and social care. This is mainly because of reason that it has enabled health care organizations to develop strategies with which they can provide effective care to the users and also improve their health and well being.
Local Area Agreements (LAA)
In UK it is a 3 year contract between the central government and a local body. Such agreements consists of a set of improvement targets which local organizations have to meet while with support from central government (Varey, 2000). In such kinds of agreements, local level health care institutions have to work in partnership with the government and its allied bodies with a view to achieve specific goals and objectives and bring about radical improvement in lifestyles of the people.
Joint Working Agreements
In these types of agreements, different bodies whether at local, regional, national or even at international level, agree to pursue goals that they may decide amongst themselves for the betterment of an area. Herein, all parties to the agreement tend to work in unison with one another and also try to deliver on their parts of the contract (Liu, 2012).
Reviewing policies and procedures is an essential step in the process of working in partnership mainly because of reason that it allows the related parties to understand one another in a better way and be able to work in effective and collaborative way with one another. This concept holds very true in relation to that the parties to agreement must also review policies and regulations laid down by the government (Rummery, 2009). One of the most prominent pieces of regulations is that of the Equality Act 2010. It states that each and every patient or care users that health & social care organizations deal with are treated equally, i.e. their caste, culture; race or income level is not given any importance. Through regulations of this kind, the government tries to ensure that all residents are given fair and equal treatment, so that they can be cured of whatever illness or disease they may be suffering from.
Other than this, the Disability Discrimination Act is also a very popular legislation that has to be given importance and appropriate consideration on part of health care organizations (Glasby and Dickinson, 2008). It states that patients must not be discriminated on the basis of the disability that they possess. Here, the health care institutions have to deliver not only quality health care services to the users, but also make sure that patients are not discriminated on the basis of disability that they have. In addition to it, the act also states that every person has the right to get access to health and social care services, so as to help him get cured of the disease and thus lead a healthy life. Through this act, it can be made sure that there is no partiality among health care users on basis of disability, whether mental or physical which they may be undergoing through (White, 2009).
The ability of different healthcare agencies is dependent upon a great variety of factors and forces which the authorities need to thoroughly assess and evaluate in order to work effectively in the health and social care industry. It is a well known fact that working in partnerships in this industry is of great importance, mainly because of the reason that it enables efficiency and effectiveness on part of all parties involved into it. By using these approaches a significant difference and change can be experienced or noted by working in such matters (Vinten, 2005). Decision making systems as well as approaches of health care organizations also start to fluctuate and eventually they change, so as to accommodate the use of new systems that would help them in providing care services in an efficient and effective manner. Health care organizations can attain success when they work in collaboration with one another, as in such situations they would get an opportunity to develop and share common goals, meaning that they can operate in a much efficient and effective manner. A major difference can be seen when two more health care organizations work with one another in the health and social care industry. One of the main ones is the improvement in quality of their services (Dickinson and Glasby, 2010). When such entities work together, there are significant chances that they will provide much effective and quality oriented services to health care users, thus giving a successful treatment and curing them of the disease they may be facing.
This is in complete contrast of approach that are used by such organizations are working alone. Also quality of the work that they do is not very good when compared to the situation where they are working with two or more organizations in the sector. Furthermore, techniques of communication are also a lot different when health care firm(s) works alone in contrast to when they are working in collaboration with some another organization.
Working in partnership for bodies and institutions working in the health and social care industry is of great importance, as it allows these firms to work in an effective manner and also provide effective health services to the users (Rigby and et. al., 2011). In this sense, it may not be wrong to say that impact of such concept of working can be very different on different groups associated with the health and social care industry. It is crucial that impact of such workings on related parties is assessed so as to identify and determine ways in which health and social care services can be provided to care users in an effective manner.
Users of organization's services
The party which may be influenced in the most significant manner from the concept of working in partnership are the care users. These are the individuals also known as patient(s) to the organization and get affected by it the most (Lu and et.al, 2010). Due to such partnerships, quality of working of these institutions is influenced the most, thus it can be said that the group of users of healthcare services are the one who get affected because of working in partnerships in the HSC industry.
Outside professionals operating within the workplace
Another group of individuals who may get affected because of concept of working in partnership are the external professionals such as therapists, social workers, etc. operating at the premise during that time period. It can be supported through fact that while working in partnership with others, such outside professionals may get a chance to improve their practice by great manner, as they would get a chance to work with experts and on live cases (Miller, 2011). Additionally the more interaction they make with people at the care home, the better are their chances of improving their career growth.
External organizations involved
In a partnership situation, there can be many types of organizations and entities which may decide to partner with the given organization and develop their working. A partnership situation could also influence them (Adams, 2007). This is because of reason that since they are going to be functioning with one another, they would get affected by each others working style and also the culture they may be following. It can be supported through fact that since the parties to the agreement get an opportunity to share their beliefs and ideas with one another over an extended time period, there are chances that they may get affected by working in partnership to a great extent.
It is a known fact that the health and social care industry is one of the most regulated markets, which essentially means that there are plenty of rules which have to be complied with and followed (Rummery, 2009). Some barriers and restrictions in this regard have been listed below:
- Unclear role and responsibilities: Due to reason that two or more entities in the health and social care industry start to work in collaboration of one another there are chances that a situation of unclear roles and responsibilities may arise at the workplace.
- Lack of professional attitude in the employees: This is one of the biggest barrier or difficulty that has to be faced while working in partnership in health and social care settings (Jabnoun, 2009). It has been seen on many occasions that health care workers and professionals lack attitude and skills through which they can carry out their duties and tasks in an efficient and effective manner. Since, majority of such professionals lack in this aspect, working in partnership in the health and social care industry gets a lot more difficult.
- Ineffective communication: It is a well known fact that communication is the most essential aspect which has to be given a lot of attention to, as it is the only way through which varied tasks and duties can be carried out (Towill, 2009). In such situations, where two or more organizations are working in collaboration with one another, it is imperative that they use such communication channels and strategies through which they can work in an efficient & effective manner.
- Conflict of interest: This is another major barrier in this whole process. It states that many a times situations may arise where two firms working together can experience a serious conflict in each other interests. This is a very dangerous barrier in this process, because when management of two or more organizations merges with one another, their views and opinions would be a lot different from one another, thus creating a point of conflict between them (Woerkum and Aarts, 2008).
- Differences in cultural values and beliefs: Entities which would enter into a partnership with one another, there are chances that their values and beliefs may be a lot different from each other. In this regard, it may not be wrong to say that this aspect would create a major barrier for working in partnership in health and social care industry.
One of the most important aspects of healthcare industry is related with working in partnership with different bodies and entities operating in this sector. During the present study, it was observed that concept of respect and making decisions on basis of shared information are very important for firms in HSC to work in partnership with one another. Further it was also noted that there are three kinds of agreements that may be formed among the market players. They were MAA, LAA and Joint Working Agreements. Working in partnership affects individuals in terms that they get access to much better and effective treatment; while it influences outside professionals by providing them a platform where they can share insights and improve their practice.
- Adams, R., 2007. Foundations of Health and social care. Palgrave MacMillain.
- Leathard, A. and McLaren, S., 2007. Ethics: contemporary challenges in health and social care. The Policy Press.
- Miller, K., 2011. Organizational Communication: Approaches and Processes: Approaches and Processes. Cengage Learning.
- Glasby, J. and Dickinson, H., 2008. Partnership working in health and social care. Policy Press.
- Reeves, S. and et. al., 2011. Interprofessional teamwork for health and social care. John Wiley & Sons.
- McKeown, M., Malihi-Shoja, L. and Downe, S., 2011. Service user and carer involvement in education for health and social care: Promoting partnership for health. John Wiley & Sons.
- White, V., 2009. Modernising social work: Critical considerations. Policy Press.