Transformation Partners in Health and Care > Resources > Collaborating across boundaries

Supporting staff to collaborate across organisational and professional boundaries

The increasingly complex needs of the population mean that staff must be supported to work across organisational and professional boundaries to develop and deliver integrate services based around the patient. From the ability to put aside organisational loyalties to collaborate in networks, to increasingly developing collaborative working arrangements across different organisational structures, this need exists across the health and social care economy.

Community educations provider networks

It will be increasingly important to align service and education commissioning and the Community Educations Provider Networks are a great vehicle to support alignment of education and service commissioning. Read the report on how CEPNs have developed over the last three years and examples and case studies of their work: CEPNs in London and the South East.

Common insights

Working together to transform improve patient care

Many local transformation programmes in London describe the need to work in a patient-centred way and often across traditional organisational and professional boundaries.

Where roles and responsibilities are unclear across the workforce, this can impact on the delivery of coordinated patient care by multidisciplinary teams.

Where shared objectives have not been sufficiently defined and agreed between care providers, this can inhibit staff from collaborating effectively and potentially undermine trust between organisations.

Where maturing network ways of working exist between professionals in different care settings, sharing knowledge and resources between staff across organisational boundaries can be limited. This is a common symptom of silo working arrangements and the culture of some individual departments and organisations. Particular examples of newly established networks that will need to ensure they agree clear shared objectives include urgent and emergency care networks and GP federations.

Some organisational governance barriers exist which prevent the movement of staff across organisational boundaries to work in different care providers. Examples include employment contract terms and conditions; indemnity insurance; and the ability of staff in sub-contracting organisations to access NHS pensions.

The lack of visibility and inconsistent communication of a patient’s care plan between professionals in a multi-disciplinary team. This acts as a barrier to more integrated patient-centred services.

Where an autonomous organisation’s culture is at odds with the collective needs of the wider local health economy in which it resides, a culture shift within the workforce is required in order for staff to participate in collaborative working arrangements inpartnership with other local care providers.

For more details see chapter 5 of the London Workforce Strategic Framework

Case studies

Multi-professional working Richmond describes how they increased apprenticeship places in General Practice and developed multi professional training:

Integrated student nurse placements Islington offers details for how they set up the following initiatives:

  • Integrated Student Nurse placements
  • Urgent and Acute Care Fellowship
  • Expert Community Programme Mental health training
  • Integrated care certificate training

Red bag nursing home Vanguard Sutton describes developing an end-to- end integrated care pathway for Care Home residents going to hospital