Working in Partnership with other Professionals in Health and Social Care Practice For the Elderly Community in the UK | Example Health & Social Care Essay

 

Introduction

The existence of mutual objectives, conditions or outcomes in numerous sectors has possible been the leading cause or driver of partnership working. It is in such context that the involved stakeholders identify the imperative need to work together and this collaborative approach has a higher tendency of yielding beneficial results as compared to a single/individual effort (Hudson, 2002). Hence, it is possible to identify different industries as well as sectors where partnership working is being employed, and the realized outcomes. One commonly cited example is the healthcare sector where various stakeholders tasked with delivering quality health care services come together to accomplish this objective.  This paper briefly analyses the topic to get a better understanding of how partnership working operates in the healthcare sector alongside its accompanying approaches, policies, and dynamics. The paper’s focus will be directed towards a particular area, namely the segment of Social care and health services for the elderly demographic in the United Kingdom. Simply put, understanding how partnership working improves the outcomes for both the social care and healthcare sectors with regards to older people constitutes the core of this paper.

Discussion

There have been numerous efforts that seek to ensure there is a collaborative approach or increased partnership in the public healthcare sector. Rummery and Colleman (2003) discuss partnership between major stakeholders in this area such as "general practitioners, other primary care practitioners, managers and lay members.” These internal entities are urged to also form collaborative connections with stakeholders from the social services sector. The objective is to better health care services delivered to the country’s citizens especially the older demographic and this arises from the collaborative efforts of the primary health care sector and the social services industry. Outcomes associated with this include a smoother flow of services as well as information with a good example being health care delivery for the elderly. Lymbery (2005) discusses this topic as well identifying how partnership working among professionals is positively shaping the outcomes. The author also highlights the policy behind this collaborative approach, namely the ‘new’ Labour’s Social Policy. The key aspect highlighted is that partnership working has the potential to improve outcomes in the healthcare sector. However, more needs to be done such as incorporating collaborative enhancing factors among the professionals in the sector.

There exists more information that can help better understand how partnership working is imperative especially in the selected sector and for the target demographic of the elderly.  With more emphasis being placed on the collaboration of sector professionals, the central question is how these can be effectively achieved and benefits to the receiving stakeholders? Glasby and Dickson (2014) go ahead to provide some of the specific measures that can be used to accomplish such an objective. For instance, there is the proposition of broader partnerships that is inclusive of external parties that can help streamline health sector process. For instance,  in a setting whereby professionals may have to seek or create partnerships or collaborative relationships with individuals from a given sector, in so doing, they can add efficiency to their services by improving aspects such as patient and drug movement or sector interconnectivity. There is also the example of individuals using the same services to take advantage of this and identify how well they can fully maximise on the resources. For instance, access to research material, facilities, or even patients should be approached from the best advocated partnership working/collaborative approach. Using such methods, it will be possible to improve outcomes as there is increased internal interaction and this can improve process results in the health sector.

The last aspect that can now be highlighted in support of partnership working and its beneficial outcomes for the health and social care sector sources its information from the Systems theory. The method is widely recognised because it has aided the field of academia better understand the immediate world through a systems view approach. For instance, Buckley, (2007), discusses systems theory in the social context demonstrating how understanding these as systems can help in better managing them. Examples are seen with the issue of system parts interactions. For instance, in the management of elderly individuals under social work there is a need to ensure that the health sector is also heavily involved in this process. This creates reliance and using understanding and approaches brought about by systems theory, increased functionality and knowledge can be achieved. Hence, it simply understands the entity created by the interactions of the health care and social sector for the chosen group of elder team management.  The Systems theory provides fundamental approaches that help improve such a context. From communication, change, interaction, structure and hierarchy, all the aspects can be used by stakeholders for any given system, and the outcomes are mostly beneficial (Buckley, 2007). Therefore, partnership working when viewed under systems theory is substantially understood as an important issue improving the process and especially in this context of elder care management.

More analysis can also improve the paper's understanding of the subject matter. The discussion becomes more important once one focuses on the challenges highlighted concerning the social and healthcare divisions in the United Kingdom.  Lewis (2001) discusses this subject matter by highlighting that the firm division between social and health care in the country has caused older adults in society to be adversely affected. More specifics about this are expounded on, and one such example is that of a select group of senior age group being adversely affected by the division between social and health care. The source points out those individuals with "less acute or “intermediate” needs," who are elderly are the ones most affected by the non-collaboration of the two sectors (Lewis, 2001). This, in turn, demonstrates that the absence of collaboration or partnership work in the selected sectors directly undermine progress. It is for this reason that the public efforts, especially through policy creation, have led to a focus on improving the relationship between social care and health care. With the professionals significantly understanding that a united approach has better chances of success than a divided one, their priorities are now shifting to more partnering and collaboration. Eventually, when this is achieved, there are higher chances for improved services specifically for the elderly community.

As a result, what is slowly being uncovered as well as understood is the fact that there is a current focus on the creation of partnership working in the UK and more specifically the healthcare sector with stakeholder involvement being at the forefront. Authors such as Hudson, (2009), as well as Glasby and Dickinson, (2014), go ahead to discuss the subject matter of partnership working and its increased role in the country's healthcare sector. Various examples are given as to how this objective is being implanted. For instance, one such is the use of Health Action Zones (HAZ), which are directly geared towards the networking of stakeholders in the sectors for purposes such as problem-solving or policy creation (Glasby & Dickinson, 2014). The underlying factor is that by getting the professionals to work together across related sectors, the overall outcome is simply an improvement in performance. Eventually, aspects such as cost reduction, increased quality of services, patient and practitioner satisfaction can be achieved through partnership working.

Conclusion

In summary, the discussion revisits the findings made and better understands the select topic given the facts uncovered. First and foremost, it should be understood that sector division and non-cooperation is a highlight that has been made concerning the Social Care and Health Care industry. Considering that the paper viewed the subject matter of partnership working for these two sectors in the context of care for older people in society, it became necessary to go ahead and analyse the historical as well as current state of the two sectors. Additionally, the discussion touched on how academic literature had addressed the issue of partnership working and more specifically its outcomes when introduced to the sector. Significant findings went to show that there are numerous benefits associated with partnership working for any given sector and its dedicated stakeholders/professionals.  Correspondingly, the analysis of systems theory and what it provides for inter-sector/systems interaction showed that it is much beneficial for stakeholders such as professionals to work together. Hence, the outcomes of active collaboration between the two sectors would yield greater results or results for groups such as the elderly. Through policies such as the Social policy, the stakeholders are simply urged to work towards inter-sector collaboration as this has beneficial outcomes. Therefore, older people would benefit from stakeholders such as the professionals being urged to collaborate or employ partnership working in their service delivery. With its success in the healthcare sector, the citizenry should, in turn, promote its use in other areas and larger industries.

Demonstrate Ways Of Working That Can Help Improve Partnership Working

List of References

Buckley, W. 2007. Effective practice in health, social care and criminal justice: a partnership approach. Maidenhead, McGraw Hill/Open University Press

Glasby, J. and Dickinson, H., 2014. Partnership working in health and social care: what is integrated care and how can we deliver it?. Policy Press.

Hudson, B., 2002. Interprofessionality in health and social care: the Achilles' heel of partnership?. Journal of interprofessional care, 16(1), pp.7-17.

Lewis, J., 2001. Older people and the health–social care boundary in the UK: Half a century of hidden policy conflict. Social Policy & Administration, 35(4), pp.343-359.

Lymbery, M., 2005. United we stand? Partnership working in health and social care and the role of social work in services for older people. British Journal of Social Work, 36(7), pp.1119-1134.

Rummery, K. and Coleman, A., 2003. Primary health and social care services in the UK: progress towards partnership?. Social science & medicine, 56(8), pp.1773-1782.

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