Partnership Working is Easier in Theory than in Practice Course code: SW5055Student number: 16001646Submission Date: 29th July 2019Word Count: 2560, including Reflective Log Introduction The report will be split into two sections, part A and part B, firstly part A will provide a reflective account of an inter-agency meeting, part B will provide a definition of partnership working and why interprofessional practice is needed. It will draw on three main issues within the structural system of partnership working and explore whether partnership working is successfully working or not. It will also look at why it may be that the idea of partnership working is beneficial but may not be as easy as it may seem when it is upheld in practice. I will then conclude by stating whether I agree or disagree with the title of this report.Reflective Account I feel that my group meeting was good but there was still room for improvement. In the weeks working up to the meeting I had agreed with the responsibilities expected of the group in our seminar session. My group and I stated how we wanted our group to work and how we wanted each member of the group to demonstrate responsibility over their tasks within the group.I feel that as a member of my group I had let the down by not attending all meeting like I had signed and agreed. My group members were very understanding which enabled the group to work well together. Although I feel I let the group down I also felt I let myself down too, this is because on the meeting I did attend I felt as fi the group did not take my ideas and support seriously. Me not being at every meeting caused me not to have a big input into the information used, on what we should be speaking on and what resources we could use. An example of this was when I was explaining to the group that although we had identified barriers for the client, we had not thought about resources to also put forward to help decrease the concerns for the client. My group looked over my suggestions and show no respect by leaving the room while I was talking mid-sentence.I felt there was not much more I could do to help them to understand that we needed a little more information on prevention methods. I decided to write down ideas to speak about when it was my turn to speak in the meeting.While in the process of the meeting my group stated some very good ideas, but I felt their I felt their parts were short, so I attempted to support the group my filling in where I though they were struggling. When we received feedback, it stated that one of the group members took up too much time which caused others not to have anything or enough time to speak. When in fact that was all the members of the group had planned to say, and I knew this through our rehearsal prior to the meeting. Although there were parts of working in a group that were undesirable, I feel that overall my group worked well together, and we did the best we could. In future I would like to work in a way that demonstrates dedication to my team so that they might have more faith in my ability and the information I input into the group.Going forward from this I would make sure to communicate properly and make sure that everyone, including myself understands what is required of them, and if we don’t to seek advice and support from each other.A PartnershipBaggott (2013) defined partnership as the coming together of two or more parties to achieve a common purpose which might be between public sector bodies, between government and private sector/ voluntary bodies and professional groups etc. Additionally, Skelcher, 2002 cited in Baggot 2013, p.8 further states that the aim of partnership is to secure the delivery of benefits or added value that could not have been achieved by a single agency acting on its own. Although Baggott (2013) acknowledged that partnership working is widely seen to be a beneficial approach, he however argues there are several potential problems to an effective partnership.Glendenning, cited in Glasby and Dickinson, (2008) states that a partnership is the involvement between two or more agents or agencies with a similar common interest or interdependencies. They would require a relation which involved trust, equality or reciprocity. An example of this definition could be, a person who may be deemed to have complex needs, such as mental health, substance abuse and housing related issues which could result in possible homelessness. In this situation the individual would be referred to an organisation such as the Single Homeless Project to help with housing issues and prevent them from falling homeless, they would also be signposted to other services for required support.The allocated support worker would work on behalf of the client to liaise with the hospital and substance misuse organisations to enable a successful outcome. Although the client may refuse to cooperate and except help other than for housing related issues, the referring organisation and SHP would liaise with each other and other organisations in the hopes for a positive end ensuring partnership working. Lester et al, cited in Partnership working across UK public services, (2015) states that any situation where people work/liaise across organisational boundaries in the hopes for a positive end. In relation to the report title there is an understanding that although there are many policies put into place which facilitate the idea and the practice of partnership working; many practitioners and organisations find it difficult to apply it to their daily practice’sThe main issues that could be causing difficulties for practitioners’ and organisations are:● Limited resources.● Heavy caseloads.● Lack of appropriate local services.● Time constraints.● Mistrust from clients.● Limited access to training.● Complex need clients not fitting into organisations ideal structure.(Foundation, 2017)Partnership working is seen to be a good thing but critiques around how good partnerships between organisations are working together has limited evidence which raises questions. The is little evidence which states that partnership working can enable outcomes that other policies have out into place can. Glasby and Dickinson, (2014) states a review on public health partnerships in 2010 identified that there was little evidence to support the idea that partnership working delivered better health outcomes for the local and targeted population, the review also suggested that there were no reflections that there were a reduced number of inequalities with the aid of partnership working.The Children Act 2004 places a duty on the local authority and other health professionals to work in partnership. Section 11 of the act states duties are placed on a variety of organisational, agencies and individuals to assure their functions and any other services they contract out to others are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. (Brammer, 2015)An example of the act is demonstrated through the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) within the London Borough of Walthamforest. The purpose of MASH is that the service acts as a front door for all children’s safeguarding in Waltamforest. The hub protects children and young people from harm, neglect and abuse. It is made up of professionals across the public sector to deliver a true multi agency approach when dealing with children’s safeguarding.MASH was proposed to deliver rapid and better decisions made on any child, young person or family, referrals reach social care service quickly and streamlined pathways to ensure referrals reach the right services. (Directory.walthamforest.gov.uk, 2019)MASH was implemented following a series of serious case reviews; these reviews included the cases of Victoria Climbe, Baby P and David Pelka.The MASH initiative was the outcome of the final Munroe review for child protection. The report recommended a variety of suggestions to improve children safeguarding, one suggestion stated was for local authorities to look at new gatekeeping methods’ in children’s social services (communitycare, 2019) The Walthamforest Mash team includes, children’s services, health services, education, police, probation, housing, early intervention and prevention, youth offending services, victim support and children and adolescent mental health services.The Care Act 2004 which arose surrounding the death of Victoria Climbe in February 2000, introduced interoperated services, the reforms presented by “Every Child Matters” agenda and legislation aimed to improve multi-disciplinary working, integrated service delivery and increased accountability. (Brammer, 2015)The act introduced duties focused on children and young people’s well being and welfare, it emphasised the welfare principle which outlined 5 outcomes of effective safeguarding and the promotion of children’s welfare. The act sets the foundation for good practice through a holistic integrated approach to childcare.Every child matters agenda, citied at (Achanceforlife.co.uk, n.d.) set five outcomes for children’s services to uphold for every child, these out comes where:- Be Healthy – Stay Safe- Enjoying and Achieving- Making a Positive Contribution- Achieving Economic Well-beingWorking together 2015 is legislation sets requirements and expectations on services to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. (Safeguarding In Schools | Safeguarding Training and Consultancy, 2015)An example is demonstrated through the multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC). The 2013 Ofsted report identified aims and objectives of the youth MARAC team which included a reduction of serious youth violence within local communities, support for victims who have experienced domestic violence and other forms of violence and better shared information for high risk cases. (Ofsted, 2013)Factor’s that promote Partnership working It became clear that the three broad themes identiﬁed in the original systematic review were still valuable as categories under which to organise the factors that supported or hindered joint working. These themes were organisational issues, cultural and professional issues and contextual issues. Within these overarching themes, new areas of interest emerged.Effective communicationIf a partnership is going to succeed in the area of communication, strong feedback loops are required. Effective communication at all levels within the partnership and within partner organizations, sharing and accessing all knowledge and information, needs to existGibb et al, (2002) study suggests that effective communication heightened joint working which improved service outcomes. Brown et.al, (2003) states team meetings build a sense of purpose and support to provide a forum for allocation and discussion of cases supports the functioning of a team. TrustAudit Commission, (1998) emphasises on trust between partners. It sta tes it is the most important aspect of success. The audit also identified the difficulty and the time taken to build trust between partners, especially is there is a history of mistrust or conflict between agencies.Team Building Kharicha, (2005) finds team building events facilitates overcoming professional differences. Christiansen and Roberts, 2005 cited in Kharicha, (2005) identified The importance of training, an evaluation of the implementation of an integrated health and social care assessment reported that nurses requested for more training related to the practical skills required to complete assessment and allowed nurses to open up about things they didn’t before.Factors that hinder partnership workingFunding AllocationsCameron, (2012) states funding can be beneficial for as it can be shared with different agencies. Due to the lack of designated funding the implementation of services is undermined. The management of money need to be agreed when funding is shared due to different constraints in regard to time and funding. Complex Accountabilities Cameron, (2012) states that complicating factors arising from structural and organisational tension can cause hindrance between professional groups. For example, questions arising around who will take the blame if something goes wrong in practice, this is due to professionals being of different educational hierarchy and not have clarity on who has the authority over operational and strategic decision making.Difference9s in professional codes of conductDay, (2006) states different professionals have a code of ethics which facilitates exclusivity, this can compromise the professionals work. The code of ethics sets a guideline for standards of conduct and performance expected by professionals.Cameron, (2012) suggests categories/ models of joint working and multi-agency teams. Identified was that multi agency teams were the largest category of the models which included different professionals from health and social services professions.Placement schemes and Co-location This is the second largest category of models, staff from one agency are placed in a different setting run by another agency or staff from cross agencies are co located but do not contribute to a formal team. (Cameron, 2012)Cameron, (2012) went on to discuss the effectiveness of joint working together, he states to assess the effectiveness of joint working, findings need to be biased on the evaluation of how policy or other intervention is implemented through consistent existence of partnerships.Although the focus of policy-makers’ interest in joint working has changed over time, the interest has remained consistent. Rising demand for services, coupled with the need to reduce public expenditure provide compelling arguments for greater collaboration in the UK.Additionally, Banks, (2002) states the integration of health and social care services potentially offers further means of supporting people with complex needs to live independently in the community, the question remains whether or not reforms over the past decade have been successful in meeting the objectives set out by policy-makers.While there is an urgency to improve and integrate services, pressures on all the partners and the fragility of many partnerships suggest the need for increased support and incentives. There are dangers that partnerships will fail to deliver better-integrated services for vulnerable people if the push for change is too fast and the objectives too circumscribed by central government.Local partners need greater freedom to identify and manage their own partnership objectives beyond solving problems in the acute health sector. In return, local authorities and their health partners will need to show evidence of progress in establishing sustainable partnerships, improved services and impact on the quality of people’s lives.In demonstrating progress in partnerships and their outcomes, ongoing work to review performance assessment needs to identify whether current indicators are appropriate for the outcomes which partnerships seek to achieve, where efforts are being duplicated by partners to fulfil the separate monitoring systems and how this framework can be used for purposeful monitoring of partnership working through joint reviews and joint monitoring. (Banks, 2002)Conclusion In conclusion the statement “partnership working is easier in theory than in practice” is one of true facts, limited evidence of the results acquired from partnership working causes difficulty when trying to identify positive factors. Although there is very small evidence of successful outcomes which are seen to be successful results with differing organisation to another organisation these results may be unsuccessful and not a positive outcome for the local or targeted population. Going forward more focus is needed on how partnership working has an impact on the individuals in needs and how through the aids of partnership working a positive outcome was achieved for not just the organisations but also the clients’ being supported to access receives services.The evidence base is patchy, and more research is required to sharpen and broaden our understanding of these outcomes. Without this evidence base some professionals will remain sceptical about the importance of joint working and integration to adult health and social care.