A WMAHSN programme seeking to improve the relationship between adults’ social workers and general practice teams has moved on a step with the publication of training materials to help both professions work together more effectively.
The integrated working of GPs and social workers programme has two major components: undertaking qualitative fieldwork with groups of professionals from the two services, which looked at the current perceptions and experiences of collaboration with one another; and developing training materials that would enable the two services to work better together.
The programme found that the negative perceptions professionals had of each other really outweighed the positives and impacted on the working relationships that they had. There was a lack of effective inter-professional working relationships, and effective communication and as a result, the joint decisions being made were not as effective as they could have been.
Inter-professional development, in which different professionals learn with and from each other, is well proven to enable collaborative working. The training materials to support this have now been launched and are hosted exclusively for subscribers on Community Care Inform Adults.
The training materials have been designed to try and address the quality of inter-professional relationships, building on the real life experiences and perspectives of social work teams and general practice to develop activities that open up dialogue about education, incentives, responsibilities and values.
To mark the launch, the team behind the programme have had an article published in a leading online journal. Robin Miller and Catherine Mangan, senior fellows at the Health Services Management Centre and Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of Birmingham, have authored Top tips to help social workers and GPs work better together, which sets out the findings of the programme and offers guidance to help the two professions work better together.