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Working Partnerships in Health and Social Care

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health
Wordcount: 3030 words Published: 29th Sep 2017

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Working partnership in Health and Social Care

Task 1 (Case study 1)

The partnership between a community mental health team and mental health trust has been in disagreement due to some lack of consider in efficiency of social worker. The both parties are in well-built on their argument, but the disparity has brought them to a circumstance, where the need of analysing the strategies of combined working in health and social care.

The concept of working in partnership is a vital element in health and social care.

The idea of sharing the control, discussion, and working jointly are effective component to serve in this sector. The professional in this sector need to understand the importance of autonomy of others. At the same time they need to be aware of their own roles and responsibilities related to the health and social care.

The attributes of partnerships are:

  • Team work
  • Respect for each party (autonomy)
  • Respect for specialist/ expertise
  • Share common goals
  • Appropriate governance structure
  • Agreed objectives
  • Reciprocity
  • Empathy
  • Trust and confidence in accountability

In the case study, the community mental health team and mental health trust need to follow any of the below strategies into their partnership to promote positive partnership. They need to respect each of their opinions and suggestions.

  • Empowerment

Balancing right and responsibilities of individual community can solve the dispute the current scenario. Appropriate use of power sharing would create the importance individual or teams opinions to be considered. This strategy will give them an option to approach a mutual understanding.

  • Collaborative working

This is one of the many ways to implement changes in service methodology to based on evidence from research and practise. The impact of the change has to be measured and encourage available resources to put in practise.

  • Informed decision making

The decision making criteria needs to be pre-informed and discussed. In this case, the decision to engage social workers in day care or home care is more likely to be instructed rather that pre-discussed and agreed. Informed decision making will help to disappear the disagreement in a large amount.

  • Sharing Information

Sharing the information with other party can solve the disputes. Sharing information and discussion on that can reduce the problems in partnership.

  • Professional roles & Responsibility

Professionals in each field should have vital role in the decision making process. Individual’s expert on a marked role should have opportunity to present the benefits of the decision and huge responsibility to make take correct decision.

  • Unified model of working

Unified approach towards working can be helpful in this situation.

  • Coordinative method of working

More common practise in a partnership which is tested and validated by many organisation.

  • Inter-Disciplinary

This is another successful way to minimise the disputes in an agreement.

  • Management Structure

Changing the way management thinking in decision making may construct a healthy partnership. Changing the managerial structure could also be an way to sort the problems.

  • Method of Communication

Change in the method communication is helpful in certain scenario. But need to be closely observed that the change should be done in acceptance of the other party in the collaboration.

  • Multi area agreement

Multi area agreement is widely used across the South American organisations working in partnership in health and social care.

  • Local area agreement

Local area agreement is widely used across the European organisations working in partnership in health and social care. It promotes equality.

  • Joint working agreement

This is a common practise for any organisation to work in a partnership. This includes agreement on shared goals and objectives.

These strategies are mostly used in any partnership working in health and social care which can be applied into the current scenario to improve the relationship between to community mental health team and mental health trust.

  • Charitable organization
  • Community support association

Case Study 2

The change in working practise and policies can affect the collaborative working hugely.

Such as, GP commissioner replaced Primary Care Trust in commissioning health care for the neighbourhood residents changed the way of collaborative working of various organisations.

Recent budget cut in NHS and changes in the health care plan from government, created mixed feelings in peoples mind. The decentralization in the vertical relationship between a local body to another creates massive impact on the social community. For example; DCLG to local authority, department of health to NHS.

There are also barriers to work in partnership which prevents organisations to work together as one individual body.

  • Personal
  • Role and power
  • Peoples Behaviour
  • Skills
  • Structural barriers
  • Involvement of wrong partner
  • Geographical boundaries
  • No link between members
  • Inconsistency
  • Fatigue partnership
  • Process oriented barriers:
  • Lack of agreed outcome
  • Mechanism of decision making
  • Poor communication
  • Resource based barrier
  • Money
  • Information
  • Time
  • Outside influences
  • Policy:
  • Legislation:
  • Good news imperative:
  • Performance:
  • Time sequence:

There could be some unintended consequences not to work in partnership which are bad relation with special services, existing specific partnership, and fragmentation of mono professional network.

Task 2

The philosophy behind working in partnership in health and social care is to put service user problems in the middle and finding out more effective and quicker solution to solve more complex crisis. Since 1997 government has changed policy to encourage public sector organization to work in partnership with other organisations. Such as, Secretary of State for Health, 2000; Department of Health, 2005a; Secretary of State for Health, 2006). Also government has introduced range of legal flexibilities such as, The Health Act (1999) and mechanisms such as, Care Trusts, Children’s Trusts, Local Strategic Partnership etc.

The philosophies of partnerships are:

  • Team work

The two parties/teams working in partnership in health and social care sector have to work as a team not as an individual entity. The team effort will employ synergy into their role to the society.

  • Respect for each party (autonomy)

There respect for each other is important as they might have individual way of communication. They both have to have the compromising behaviour and clear understanding of their policies.

  • Respect for specialist/ expertise

Individual specialist should be given their own space to work with their possessed expertise. This will generate opportunities for them to be creative and bring their knowledge into work.

  • Blurring of professional boundaries

Professional boundaries need to be blurred to taken off. Compromising and respecting other work in a partnership is a valuable module to stay in the collaboration.

  • Share common goals

Both of the parties need to share the common objectives of the partnership. In every partnership, there are common set goals which are then fulfilled by their joint work.

  • Appropriate governance structure

The governance in the partnership is vital to promote positive effect towards their services. The appropriate rules and regulation in collaboration can help form a strong partnership.

  • Agreed objectives

The objectives need to be agreed by both parties. The initial objectives can be written down in the partnership contract papers. Also the objectives raised later on based on the situation and needs can be revised into the contract or verbally agreed.

  • Reciprocity

Reciprocity means doing something good for a good action. Basically rewarding for good actions is called reciprocity. In many survey it was observed that the rewards for good did encourage people to do better action. As a core nature of human being, they become more co-operative. On the other hand the lack of reciprocity can formulate people to more self-interesting model and push them to do more hostile act.

  • Empathy

Empathy indicates the capacity to realise others emotions. In a partnership empathy should exist to work together in different stages of life cycle.

  • Trust and confidence in accountability

Trust and confidence in each other’s action should be present when two organisations are working in collaboration. Their opinions, judgements, suggestions, arguments and answers need to be trusted by the other party.

  • Open communication and listening

Last but not the least, in any partnership or collaboration, there is a massive need for equal opportunity to demonstrate each individuals or teams opinions, judgment, suggestions, arguments and answers. This attribute of partnership create confident space for positive awareness into the service.

The partnership relationships are as follows:

  • People with disabilities
  • People with learning difficulties
  • People with mental health issues
  • People seeking asylum
  • Refugees
  • Patients (other)
  • People in young age group
  • People below young age group
  • People in old age group

The above mentioned people receiving health and social services from

  • Social worker
  • Nurse
  • Therapist
  • Psychologist
  • Health worker
  • Educationalist
  • Support worker

Through organizations such as,

  • Non profit organization
  • Statutory organization
  • Voluntary organization
  • Private association
  • Independent association

The National Audit office (2001) acknowledged 3 types of partnership in organisation.

  1. Realigning of organisational boundaries:

Under this structure of partnership, two or more organisation brings together the whole or parts of their business or policies to work as one entity. Basically re-aligning the organisational values and objectives into one joint policy is the main criteria of this model.

  1. Formal partnership or partnership by contract:

Formal partnership is formation of partnership of two or more organisation by contractual agreement. There is a defined protocol or framework for all the parties in the partnership agreement. They both have shared and similar objective to do fulfil one goal they might have different roles or functionality in the project but share similar aim.

  1. Informal partnership or partnership without contract:

This form of partnership is different than the other forms of partnership. In this criteria of partnership, two or more organizations work together by consultation, liaison and without any mutual agreement. There is usually a verbal agreement present in this model or in some circumstances; verbal agreements are eliminated by consultation or liaison.

In some other context the partnerships has the following three types;

Strategic partnership: Based on recent researches from local strategic partnership.

Policy Based partnership: Based on a policy which requires two or more organisation to work together. This could be barrier to work jointly.

Community based partnership: this partnership is usually formed based on the ongoing evaluation.

The possible positive outcomes of working for service users are explained in the table.

Quality of Life



Feeling Safer

Listened to community support

Improvement in confidence and skills

Having things to do for living


Improvement in mobility

Staying well


Improvement in communication

Living life as you want


Reduced symptoms of instability

Living where you want


Dealing with stigma


There are negative outcomes in this criterion which are

  • Neglect
  • Harm to others
  • Poor anger management
  • Poor communication
  • Disempowerment

The possible outcomes of partnership working for professionals are explained below.

Professional approach: The most positive outcome of working in partnership is professional approach. Change in the behaviour to approach to other party, business or any objective.

Clear understanding of roles and responsibilities: With the help of partnership, individual gain the clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities in the project.

Organised method of communication: As the professionalism increases, the method of organisation improves and gives a boost to the communication.

Prevention mistakes: Mistakes are likely to occur in low level of efficient environment. Due to working in partnership, the efficiency level increases which significantly lowers the mistakes in the professional field.

In the other hand the negative outcomes would be

  • Professional rivalry
  • Poor communication
  • Waste of time
  • Mismanagement of funds and resources

The positive outcomes of working for organisations are stated below.

Coherent approach: Logical and consistent approach towards any decision brings more efficiency to the organisations.

Shared principle: In a partnership, the positive outcome would always be sharing same principles. This can lead all the ventures to follow the same approach to success.

Integrated service: Incorporated service method to deliver quality output.

There are a number of negative outcome which are mentioned below.

  • Breakdown in communication
  • Break in service provision
  • Increments in cost
  • Loss at shared purpose

Currently in UK the following relevant legislation and policies are existing for working in partnership in health and social care.

Care Standard Act (2000)

Disability Discrimination Act (2005)

Equality Act (2010)

There influences of these are to this sector are reviewed below.

  • Care Standard Act (2000)

This act provides a variety of care institutions such as children’s home, independent hospitals, residential cares homes, nursing homes etc. This was an act of British parliamentary act. UK government is encouraging different types of organisations to work in partnership for the wellness of people in need of care.

  • Disability Discrimination Act (2005)

Under this act, it is unlawful discriminate a physically or mentally disable person in relation to employment, provision for facilities, services and goods.

  • Equality Act (2010)

This act prevents various types of discrimination harassment and victimisation.

The current legislation and policies are preventing people to do unlawful act to the society and creating a better and happier place for every single citizen.


Carnwell, R. and Carson, A. The concepts of partnership and collaboration

Carnwell, R. and Carson, A. n.d. The concepts of partnership and collaboration. EFFECTIVE PRACTICE IN HEALTH, SOCIAL CARE AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE, pp. 3-21. Available at: http://www.mcgraw-hill.co.uk/openup/chapters/9780335229116.pdf [Accessed: 13th Jan 2014].

Azhar, A. CLC – City of London College – MBA, MSc, BA, BSc, Accountancy, Computers, Tourism Courses London

Azhar, A. 2014. CLC – City of London College – MBA, MSc, BA, BSc, Accountancy, Computers, Tourism Courses London. [online] Available at: http://www.clc-london.ac.uk/modules/446/working-in-partnership-in-health–and-social-care.html [Accessed: 13th Jan 2014].

Anonymous. 2014. [online] Available at: http://www.edexcel.com/migrationdocuments/BTEC Higher Nationals from 2010/BH023333_HNCD_Health_and_Social_Care_units.pdf [Accessed: 14 Jan 2014].


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