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Working in partnership is where two or more parties collaborate and work together towards achieving a particular goal. The relationship is based on trust, equality and mutual understanding. In partnerships, risks and benefits are both involved which makes shared accountability critical (WHO, 2015a). Recently, many industries in health and social care settings have preferred to use this kind of relationship to be able to deliver the best high-quality services to their clients.
A health and social center can also choose to enter into a partnership with another organization, to make it easier for the team to solve some problems that are too complex to be solved by a single organization. They can also choose t work in partnerships to reduce the gap between provision and delivery of health and social care services. To achieve this, various resources which may include medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and personal required for efficient service provision are pulled together.
Partnerships also make it easier for organizations to provide a broad range of services more efficiently (Glasby &Littlechild, 2002). This leads to increased consumer satisfaction as well as providing more health and social care benefits to the patients/customers.
WHO (2015b) states that partnership-based approaches to health systems are a potentially useful means that stimulates and sustains change.
For both organizations to work together effectively, it is a good practice for them to see the rules binding the partnership as a negotiation towards helping them function properly. Personality, in this case, should be put aside and focus should be on the work available for both parties. This report also gives some tips which in one way or another help both the health and social care services work better. These tips include; the use of more expertise and knowledge other than the use of their titles. When solving some conflicts, a non-hierarchical model of relationship is advised. Work practice and skill can also be shared; the ability of both organizations to work together without jealousy or negligence can also help them work better. Other tips include bettering their networking potentials and also working as a team.
For the development of closer cooperation between health care organizations and social workers, the health and social partnership is paramount. One significant achievement of the partnership philosophy is that it provides the patients with the full range of services which is important for elderly patients whom with time, grow more and more dependent on health and social care services. The partnership makes the services more available to the patients. A good example is when a patient needs serious service care bur maybe because of disability; he/she may not have any about the existence of an available social care.
In this case, a physician can notice the patient and report to a social care organization, which will take action and go forward to providing social care services to the patient. Since the healthcare professionals and social workers can set the standards high for better care of patients, especially those who don't have family members to take care of them but depend on caregivers, the philosophy of this partnership is to focus on the improvement of the quality of life of such patients. These partnerships also improve improvement of the quality of care for people who suffer from serious health problems and require both health and social care services at the same time.
In many cases, patients with serious health concerns cannot get access to social care because of their condition. This is because it needs a lot of effort from their side to be able to reach the service. This group of patients may also include those with the physical disability that hinders their movement. Due to this, the patients may not be able to reach or receive social care, but with the health and social care partnership, they will receive it along with health care.
Though the health and social care partnerships are being widely utilized, it has not always been useful in some places. This may be due to professional negligence and poor communication between healthcare professionals and the social workers. Furthermore, the partnership being integrated into one organization poses the possibility of manipulation and misuse of the partnership to benefit the organization instead of helping the patients. To prevent such a case from occurring, efficient implementation can only be possible throughout if there are effective monitoring and control of performance to the health professionals and social workers providing the service.
When the partnerships are monitored, the responsibility of organizations under the partnership increases. This is because they are liable for any action that violates the norms and standards concerning health and social care. If the health and social care partnership are not controlled, it will increase the risk of human rights violation for the patients. In some cases, it can also risk the patient's life if not controlled. This monitoring can also help the government regulatory bodies to note professionals who are poor and negligent in their work.
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Before the organizations come into a partnership, they should have a good understanding of the kind or the model of partnership they are going to apply. Some examples of partnerships that health and social care may get into include:
This type is designed to benefit health and social care centers and it is limited by time.
This model is meant to solve particular problems that may be challenging the center.
In this case, both parties in partnership give their point of view, and they are both put into consideration when the final decision is reached.
This particular model is meant to improve the way of living for both the clients and consumers. In this case, these are the patients (Carnwell & Carson, 2008).
Despite the kind of partnership the health and social care choose to enter into, it has to be controlled or monitored to ensure that it is working effectively to achieve its main goal of helping the patients who need their service. For efficient monitoring, the model used in the partnership may be based on full government involvement and control over the partnership. If this is the case, the government will be directly involved in the partnership, and the governing body of the healthcare institution will be appointed and controlled by the authorities.
If this model is used, the funds will come from the government whereas the health and social care professionals will work under strict regulations and control. This model which involves the government is not the most effective one because it raises the issue of incompetence of professionals appointed by the government. For instance, you may find that the manager appointed in have little or no medical background. This would mean that he/she will not be able to manage or deal with the health and social partnership properly. In spite of this, the government model is the most reliable because it will observe the existing norms and standards in this field of health and social care.
In a different partnership model, the government and healthcare organization may involve the distribution of functions and responsibilities between themselves. Here, the government will be responsible for the social care aspect and may directly interfere with social care services and control the services provided to the patients. The health care, in this case, provides the health care services for the patients and is not involved in the social care part. Unlike the other model, the government here does not directly interfere with the functioning of the health care organization but can conduct monitoring and auditing of the body at a given time.
This kind of partnership is said to be quite effective, but it requires that the government and the healthcare organization be in close interaction. The government's task here is monitoring and controlling the partnership in health and social care but it should not prevent social and health care organizations from doing their linear functions.
Apart from those controlled by the government, we also have health and social care partnership models that are funded by private investors entirely. Here the health and social care are under the full responsibility of the private investor, but that does not mean that the government agencies don't have the right to monitor the performance of such organizations. This monitoring reduces the possibility of the health professionals and social workers violating the human rights or abusing the patients. However, because of their interest to attract more customers and to maintain a positive public image, the private health sectors that also provide social care services are said to be very responsible.
For the individual health and social center to ensure that the health and social care professionals provide the best quality service to the patients, they use their system of monitoring and control. However, this does not eliminate the government's involvement in monitoring and oversight because some private organizations may develop a careless attitude towards their professional duties. Besides, the partnership in health and social care are regulated by the health and social care act. It regulates health and social care services and creates legal conditions for the same.
To conclude, the partnership in health and social care is very promising despite the negligence of some health professionals and social workers. The policy makers should, therefore, try to bring ideas that will improve such partnerships.
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