Partnership Working in Health and Social Care: Benefits, Challenges

Introduction

Partnership work has many benefits in all fields and especially health and social care; it gives fruitful and better records than working alone. Together separate organisations performs health and social care practices since there is a mutual understanding of the values from each side, they can provide services from huge resources, power sharing and expertise when brought together.

The essay will be going to focus on the partnership working style when the context is of health care and social care practices. There will be a brief discussion on the importance and the key elements of the partnership working with the individuals, other external organisations, different families and colleagues. The barriers and conflict experiences will be going to share in this assessment while working with partners in health and social care. The contribution which the included partners pour into the partnership working to enhance the work will also be presented below. Though the partnership working is not always as same in every place, there could be issues and problems too which are highlighted to so that action can be taken to resolve them. Every partnership working has some strengths and weaknesses in themselves which can either build or break the partnership. These strengths and weaknesses are also explained below with some of the innovative practices to improve the partnership working in heal and social care.

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Task 1

1.1 Describing the key elements of partnership working with:

External organisations

Colleagues
Individuals
Families

In every partnership working there are some key elements which need to be present to make the partnership successful in the desired goals where the elements are trust, agreed shared values & goals, honesty and a clear communication between the partners. In different components of partnership, the key elements sometimes changes and sometimes are same just like in case of:

External organisational partnerships regarding the health and social care activities thee elements which are must to be present are –

Structure of the partnership is important and must be fragile in nature for a never ending futile quest to adapt the tasks and issues.

The focus should be more on the outcomes to define the purpose and the added value of the partnership initiated which lies in the project (Donkin et al. 2018).

Clarified responsibilities are needed to avoid misunderstandings and accountability of the tasks involved.

Colleagues are co-workers so there must be openness, honesty and trust while they are working together for any cause and in health and social care these are essential so that mistakes must be avoided with the elements such as –

Co-ordination and leadership between working partners are common elements in both horizontal and vertical forms to keep moving in the same direction.

As suggested by Poxton (2018), another element is monitoring and evaluation of the work process which somehow reflects that what tasks are important and must and what aspects are to focus on more.

Individual partnership working is different from both above and so do its elements are like –

The working partners must be same and similar in their beliefs, working systems and ethics else there are definite chances of issues in between them.

England (2017) stated that both of them must share common objectives and goals in context with health and social care service providing.

Being in partnership each individual must consist some sort of their personal states in the partnerships else some partners may get under shadowed.

Families are the toughest of all to work with while serving partnered health and social care facilities since in a family there are different types of persons bonded and fulfilling each one’s requirements are quite tough with elements such as –

Building the strong and growing family assets is important to make a sustaining and growing family till retirement. Supporting towards employment and helping in fulfilling the daily basic needs of the family is must (SpringerLink, 2019).

Child care facilities and educational opportunities are those tasks which if accomplished will help the families in many ways to shape their future.

1.2 Evaluating the importance of partnership working with:

External organisations

Colleagues

Individuals

Families

Partnership workings and activities are important and beneficial in every manner whether it is done with individuals or organisations and families or colleagues. Every different partnership has certain different importance and qualities in them. The significant importance of partnership working with different partners can be like:

External organisations

It facilitates delivering of joint services wherever required when two organisations join hands with each other to serve people regarding health care and social care facilities.

Organisational partnerships are more efficient in working and sharing the resources resulting on the economic scales as service providers.

By coming together, two organisations focus on common goals, shares common visions and forms partners to achieve them (US National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health, 2018).

Regarding the funding matter also, organisational partnerships are important to allow various other organisations too to access and contribute to comply with the government requirements.

Colleagues

The importance of colleagues’ partnership is that it builds communication and interaction with each other so that the barriers and issues can be resolved between themselves and the organisation where they work (Wallerstein et al. 2017).

Working with colleagues helps in reducing the gaps of the working professional and makes it easier to understand and get along with the community people.

Another importance is the professional partnership is that it shares the workloads, resources access, information, innovative ideas, knowledge and skills too.

Individuals

It helps in building relationships with various individuals across sharing common literature on the networking in health and social care which brings people close together.

According to Glasby (2017), one significant importance of partnership with individuals is it enables powerful and productive capacities of the network system of disparate ideas of different people.

It has been often argued that the volunteerism tasks where separate individuals work together as partners is an important part that ensures the diversity and dynamic engagement of people.

Families

Importance of working with families, friends and other carers is a vital part of the delivering of person-centred health and social care services in a wide spread manner (US National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health, 2017).

Partnership working with families is important because it enhances the working capabilities of the people who are involved in this joint venture and trains them too to handle and manage people and get along with them to understand their needs.

If the families are involved in the health and social care plans and sessions, thy can communicate the real issue sand lacking points which being an outsider is critical to identify and then the appropriate facilities and service can be provided to them for betterment.

1.3 Explaining that how to overcome barriers to partnership working

Barriers are common problems that comes in every filed of working whether individually or in partnership or teams. When there are barriers present, there are also ways present to overcome those barriers and function smoothly in every aspect of providing health and social acre to people. The methods or techniques to overcome the barriers are:

Avoiding competition between organisations - When working with various organisations teaming up for health care activities, there arise competitions between organisations to prove themselves best in working. This barrier can be resolved by accessing all the organisations from their past work records and capabilities and how successful they are in their work and then the choice of specific organisations can be done to make partnership with for fulfilling the desires goals regarding public welfare (BMC Health Services Research, 2017). It will avoid the hindrances and unnecessary interruptions in the organisational collaborations for a public welfare cause.

Equal distribution of authority – A very usual barrier comes when there are partnerships in any task which is the authority of working and monitoring the tasks. Issues in this matter frustrate the work progress and hamper the processing of the work due to conflicts. This barrier can be dissolved by identifying and analysing that, which person is capable of accounting which responsibility. An equal sharing of the authorities and responsibilities among the working professional develops the feeling of equality too resulting into appropriate decision making (Moore et al. 2017). It saves time also to categorise the broader ranging responsibilities and purposes that are overtaken by the main functions.

Cultural clashes – There is a huge barrier which has been found to be obvious when tasks are performed in groups or partnerships is that the clash between them in the cultural aspect. Two different organisation or team or group, if becomes difficult to adapt each other’s working styles for each other. There the clash comes in the expectations and adjustments (US National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health, 2018). To mitigate this barrier, it is important that both must understand and respect each other’s working patterns, beliefs, thoughts and ideas to establish the priority of goal and objectives. Mixing of multi-cultural ideas and experiences can be emerged into a well-functioned activity plan for the project on which they are working.

Time management issues – The time management is critical and crucial on the other hand to achieve the desired goals. When many people work on a specific project, time management is necessary during this process. Another important fact is that it takes a little time to develop trust among the working partners or teams or organisations in between them which slows down the work progress and decision making. So to management that barrier, one important activity to do is to interact with each other before initiating the project or activity and understand and share their experiences, thoughts and ideas so that it can be helpful in future together working.

1.4 Explaining that how to deal with conflict that may occur in partnership working

Conflicts are those issues which arise when different people with different ideas, working style, beliefs and thoughts work together or in a team or group for fulfilling a specific goals & objectives. In this process, it is obvious that clashes and conflicts will arise but there are ways also to deal with them and resolve them. From a long list of methods to deal with conflicts, some of the best techniques are:

There should be honesty and open communication within the working participants so that every step towards the progress can be made aware for better results. It is good to be known that open and free communication reduces the chances of miscommunication also which is a big reason in every organisation behind the conflicts.

The challenges which will come must be faced by everybody keeping the unity in between the working personnel. As per Wachter and Howell (2018) accepting the challenges bring together by every member involved increases trust and belief on each other.

When working together it is necessary that each other must acknowledge and appreciate each other’s expertise and performances. Not only appreciation but learning from each other is also good behaviour without being bias or jealous. It develops skills and gives opportunities to learn new dimensions of working through variety of innovative ways.

Each member of the team or group working together must share each every information about the project or mission they are working to everyone for clear vision (Sweeney et al. 2018). An important fact to be noted is that all the information is shared from the origin itself and not via any other means; the accurate and jargon-free information can be availed to all the working participants.

All the working participants must respect each other’s differences in all aspects may it be cultural or professional. It needs to be understood by the participants that every person is different in their professional front which is normal behaviour and is also good to avoid any monotonous working environment.

There needs to be frequent discussions between the working participants relating to the work and target for which they all are contributing their hard work and skills. Frequent discussions helps in identifying and solving the problems immediately whenever they can be seen and also discussions helps in developing new ideas and ways to accomplish the work.

Gray and Purdy (2018) noted that conflicts can also be in the structural form which is caused by the external forces which are unrelated with the individuals who are involved in the conflicts and disputes. These issues can be addressed, it should be agreed by all the participants that these type of conflicts must be kept away and identify the sources of these disputes and rectified by bringing people together jointly.

Task 2

2.1 Identifying the contributions that people can make to enhance partnership working

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There is a long list of contributions that people make to enhance the partnership working being participants of the partnership. The remarkable contributions are listed in the table below:

2.2 Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses in relation to partnership working

The strengths and weaknesses are two primary components of the partnership working in context with the health and social care among the communities. The strengths are those elements which brawns the potential and competencies of the participants of the partnership working activities. On opposite the weakness are those points which restrict and imposes boundaries on the progress of the partnership works. In relation to the health and social partnership working, the strengths and weaknesses impact the healthcare and social care services and activities for the communities either positively or negatively.

Strengths

Partnership working has always been better from all aspects because as it is said that two heads are better than one head. From all means, partnerships are more efficient in plans and strategies when it comes to providing healthcare facilities to the population.

Partnership workings are profitable from the cost perspective also bearing all the expenses that are involved in the health and social care projects and missions.

Partnership working means more capital investment in the projects and causes of the health and social care projects. So it is beneficial because it the capital will be more than the mission can be conducted and services will be provided to its best possible ways (Greenhalgh et al. 2019).

Partnership workings whether with teams or individuals or organisations, collaborates and brings participants with diversity in thoughts and ideas with high calibre which ultimately ignites the better plans & strategies for the health care services.

When there is partnership involved in the health and social care activities, there are fewer chances of external interruptions and also there is a limited regulations and the functions remains private.

Another primary strength of partnership working is that all the responsibilities of the target or goal are distributed among the participants as per their capabilities and skills acquired by each member of the partnership team (Veillard et al. 2017).

In context with, serving people it is true that as many participants are included in any health and social care assessments, the better the services can be provided. So partnerships give more participants for better quality work.

Weaknesses

When two organisations or two different thoughts of people join hands, it is obvious that conflicts and disputes while working will come because every person has their own style of working and own experiences depending on which they take the decisions. So rise of conflicts and disputes are definite to come which is the biggest reason why it has been seen that some partnerships don’t work and if goes along the process of functioning becomes slow due to the time taken to resolve the partnership issues.

If any partner wants to leave during any project or target then it is the major drawback for that mission because all the responsibilities will be left behind and needs to be given to someone else of the partnership work which could be burdensome for some people.

As it is said that more skilled people means more competition which can also be seen when different stature and excelled people work together, their experiences clashes with each other while performing the partnership tasks which is not good for the goal achievement because clashes in people could impact on the mission on which they are working for regarding the servicing of people in health and social care assessments (Shaw et al. 2018).

Two other major weak points in partnership working are managing the task timings and assigning the responsibilities to the people who are eligible for which tasks to perform. This is a very critical matter since wrong assignment of work to wrong people can make delayed services or failed results or there can be gaps in the procedure.

2.3 Identifying the ways to improve own practices

Partnership working for any target or mission consists of inequalities, separate thoughts, issues and boundaries but all these can be tackled through proper measures. Although there are ingenious and inventive also ways also present through which these partnership working can be made more efficient and improved for better implementations. Some of the ways via which these practices can be improved are like –

Purpose is more important than structure – when initiating any partnership work, it is often found that people focus more on structure than the purpose of the partnership but it is wrong implementation because purpose matters more than the structure. If the purpose is analysed appropriately then the structure can be formed according to that and if the emphasis is more on structure than there will be a futile & a never-ending quest (World Health Organization, 2018). To correct this, use of appropriate models is necessary like looser partnerships where the networks can be changed or shifted as per the tasks and issues found.

Responsibilities clarifications – it has been seen that in most of the partnership working cases, the participants gets an unclear vision of what their individual responsibilities are and who is accountable for which task. They don’t have a clear sense of what things to do and what things are not allowed or they can’t do or couldn’t happen. This pint needs more focus so that whether an individual or any team or group, the participants must be aware of their tasks and activities and the whereabouts of the do’s and don’ts regarding the project or initiative for which the partnership working has been assembled with various people involved in it.

Time to settle up within the partners – partnerships in response to health and social care services are initiated for a reason or specific cause where different peoples join hands but since they are different, their behaviour related with everything and their acceptance style also will be different. So it must be taken care that there should be give appropriate and necessary time to yield and adapt each other fully and comfortably so that the results can be as desired with benefited outcomes.

Pooling the budgets wherever appropriate – it is very important that the budget pooling should be done along with fully exploiting the potential of the initiative so that no resources should be remained from utilising to the tasks performed for efficient results. A proper accountability and good governance are the two prominent points to be noted when delivering any productive partnership working for health and social care causes.

Leading through standards and examples – when bringing many people together joining hands for a good cause servicing then, it is necessary that there should be presented an example of previous initiative or past successful projects. This will ignite more enthusiasm and will encourage the partnership members to devote more and contribute more for the mission of serving people of eth community population (Theobald et al. 2018). So when initiating and partnership working then the head or leader of the team leading all the members should introduce with any past fruitful and best example to the participants.

Intense focus on outcomes – there is another way also which can improve the partnership working practices which is more focus on the outcomes than on other things related with the partnership. If a partnership is more intense outcome focused than it defines the original motive and purpose along with the value added things of the partnership from the outset of the initiative. A partnership in not only a simple badge of a collective working people but instead the true value of the partnership lies of the project are shared (World Health Organization, 2018).

Task 3

3.1 Explaining how to review the effectiveness of partnership working in achieving the agreed outcomes

Reviewing the effectiveness of any partnership working means to evaluate and monitor that whether the partnership is able to get the desired outcome or not and if the results are the agreed results or not. The reviewing is consisted of measuring the performances of the partnership participants, their working capabilities, the achieving of the desired outcomes, the training sessions given to the participants prior initiating the projects and things like these. The detailed process of reviewing the partnership working effectiveness can be done through certain standards like:

A partnership can be declared as effective if all the participants are together agreed on the key points of the tasks performances and the main target points of the goals. There are many partnership-based approaches and effective cooperation models also which helps in the analysis of whether the partnership is effective or not (Sachs et al. 2019). If the participants are not agreed then it will be difficult for the partnership team to function because a certain amount of disagreement can also hamper the tasks performances of the initiative for which the partnership is formed.

Setting up the priority list of all the tasks to be formed by the participants of the partnership is a major characteristic depending on which the effectiveness and efficiency of any partnership can be evaluated. So there should be more emphasis on deciding the task priorities and their accountabilities of the responsibilities to the participants of the partnership work. Every partnership work needs to be more concrete and stable about which functions, local services & situations or processes the participants wants to address first on essential status (BMC Health Services Research, 2018). And this is determined by two min things where one is what to address most and who can address it more quickly and effectively.

The strategic plan of every partnership is also another way to examine and analysing the effectiveness of that partnership work since the strategic plans require intense focus and skills to be prepared. So it can help in identifying that whether partnership will be a successful venture or not. The strategic plans of any partnership I the broad description of where the partnership wishes to reach at the end of the decided time of the partnership.

The quality of the outcomes and results are good means through which the effectiveness of any partnership can be checked. In this process, there should be performed a self-evaluation and quality check monitoring by the partnership team itself to present and set examples of a best partnership to others (Surr et al. 2017). Not only qualitative but the quantitative evaluating is also necessary for a partnership to be effective and efficient. The qualitative assurance includes the pre & post intervention plans, action plans, review meetings, practitioner notes and observation and many more. And apart from all these, the quantitative assurance data includes behaviour of the participants, attainment energy status and levels, attendance figures of the participants, exclusive data regarding the matter etc.

Conclusion

The above assessment was presented to address the management of the health and social care partnership working practices and its elements. There was a brief discussion on the key elements and their importance of eth partnerships with individuals, colleagues, external organisations and families. The assessment showed that by coming together, two organisations focus on common goals, shares common visions and forms partners to achieve them. This assessment reviewed that partnership working with families is important because it enhances the working capabilities of the people who are involved in this joint venture and trains them too to handle and manage people and get along with them to understand their needs. The barriers were also cleared which comes in the way of forming the partnership and measured to deal with them efficiently.

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Commitment and respect are two essential elements of partnership working which the participants maintain who are involved in the social and health care cause projects and missions and can resolve many issues too. The strengths and weaknesses of the partnership working can be remitted with contributions from all the participants of the partnership work. Each participant of the partnership in health and social care pour their own various strengths from different perspectives to boost and polish the planning, implementations and evaluation procedures. Finally the conclusion can be ended by stating that cooperation and coordination of each team member of the partnership can bring best desired results of the initiative for which the partnership is structured.

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