Working in Partnership with other professionals in Health & Social Care Practice | Example HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE Essay

A comparison of multi-disciplinary working in
mental health and older person’s services


  1. Introduction

The National Health Service (NHS) has seen vast change since it was first founded in 1948.  However, the most significant change was seen following the 2010 election when the coalition government introduced the Health and Social Care Act 2012.  The Act described an ambitious and widespread reform of the NHS in England with a vision of embedding an integrated approach to health and social care across the country (Nuffield Trust, 2010, online).  Central to this vision was a move to clinically led commissioning by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), the involvement of patients and the public across health and social care via Healthwatch, and the establishment of health and wellbeing boards to encourage local authorities to take a strategic approach to the health and wellbeing of its local communities (The Kinds Fund, 2012, p.2).  The changes were therefore intended to bring together the NHS, public health and local government, and the voices of individuals in order to jointly plan how best to meet health needs of the local community and commission services accordingly (The Kings Fund, 2013, p.2 ).  In order to be successful, strong, credible and shared leadership was required in order to create frameworks of integrated care (The Kinds Fund, 2012, p.1).  

In 2014 the NHS Five Year Forward View was published which described a shared vision for the future of the NHS based around new and improved models of care (NHS England, 2014, p.2).  A poignant  point within the Five Year Forward View was the acknowledgement of the need to take decisive steps to break down the barriers of how care is currently provided, particularly with respect to communication between General Practitioners (GPs), hospital services,  physical and mental health services, and health and social care (NHS England, 2014, p.3).  The publication described GPs working in partnership with nurses, community health services, hospital specialists and mental health and social care to create integrated out-of-hospital care (NHS England, 2014, p.4).

Multidisciplinary and partnership working is defined as “appropriately utilising knowledge, skills and best practice from multiple disciplines and across service provider boundaries, e.g., health, social care or voluntary and private sector providers to redefine, re-scope and re-frame health and social care delivery issues and reach solutions based on an improved collective understanding of complex patient need(s)” (NHS England, 2015, p.12).  The main objectives of multidisciplinary and partnership working is to streamline the assessment of patients, negating the need to provide health information to multiple professionals, and thereby improving information sharing amongst professionals.  In turn, this can improve the overall efficiency of the care system as a whole in co-ordinating the provision of care, resulting in improved planning and commissioning of care so that health and social care services complement each other, as opposed to disrupt one another (Valios, 2011, online; Ndoro, 2014, p.727).  NHS England describes four continuum models of multidisciplinary working including unidisciplinary, the common model, core team, and transdisciplinary (NHS England, 2014, p.22).  Successful multidisciplinary and partnership working, irrespective of the model used, is a vital component of improving health outcomes for people who access health and social care services (National Institute for Health Research, 2012, p. 14).    

This assignment will discuss and compare multidisciplinary and partnership working in mental health and older person’s services and the implications this has on the delivery of these services, particularly in the context of changing government policy.


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