A partnership is an arrangement between two or more groups, organizations or individuals to work together to achieve common aims and goals. For the partnership to be effective in achieving its aims and goals partners should; Have an agreed and shared vision and aims for their working together at a strategic and operational level, and will have ensured that partners understand their roles. The sharing of aims and an agreed strategic purpose will continue to allow for diversity in the aims of individual partners. Developed a culture of collaboration, in which it can attempt developments that individuals alone could not manage and do so in safety. This will mean that together, risks will be managed and learning supported.
A communication strategy is in place, which enables partners to understand the programmes, and the learning routes offered jointly and it will ensure that the right decisions are made. It will embrace a common working language across sectors to aid understanding, mechanisms for effective dissemination of information and ensuring that procedures and practices are understood; and an agreed consultation process. Build and sustain trust between partners that are founded on goodwill, respect and mutual support and backed by agreed and robust procedures and practices. Collaborative working is based on equality so that no partner feels excluded and each have a voice without any major disparities of power; partners’ roles may differ but their contributions are valued.
Clear roles, ground rules and accountability, strong and inclusive chairing of partnership groups and secure links to enable strong relationships to develop between partners, along with effective decision-making, all contribute to effectiveness. Systems are in place, probably through a group with delegated powers, to enable effective and timely decision making Have an agreed accountability structure and governance arrangements. These may be in memoranda of agreement or similar documents, which set out the purpose of the collaboration and the principles of working.
Equally, the infrastructure may be more informal, but partners will have agreed and will understand how they will determine joint governance and shared management of joint programmes; There are agreed, shared and understood expectations and standards across the partnership, supported by effective collaborative quality assurance arrangements. This will help develop confidence in the quality of provision across the partnership, ensure consistent and high quality experiences for partners and promote quality improvement.
It is important to maintain a good partnership and working relationship with; Colleagues, so we can provide a consistent care and support that our service users require. We can achieve this by utilizing and ensuring that all lines of communication between the management and staff are open, maintaining a positive teamwork and ensuring that all staff are working together in line with what is expected of them to effectively support and implement the needs, wants and goals set by the service users for themselves. Professionals such us Care Coordinators, Social Supervisors, GP, Dentist, Community Nurses and other medical professionals involved in the care of our service users.
By maintaining a good partnership in working with them we are ensuring that we are working to provide a uniform quality care and support for the benefit of our service users. an example is ensuring that plan of care is being reviewed regularly by all professionals involved in the care and support of the service user, this could be achieve by having CPA review meeting where professionals involve in the care and support of the service user meet up with the resident and their keyworker to review what is working on the current plan and devise strategies for other plan/goals of the resident to be effective with the help and support of everyone involved in the residents care and support.
Others may include family, friends, advocate etc. it is important to maintain a positive working relationship with them for the consistency of care and support that we provide for the resident. In order for the plan of care and support to be consistent we normally invite the resident’s next of kin (normally family members or friends) in meetings in order for them to be made aware and understand what the plan is and how it will benefit their love ones. This is also an opportunity for them to voice out what they think is best and would work for the well-being of their loved ones.
By maintaining positive working partnership and relationship with the above groups we were able to maintain and nurture trust and professionalism among each other, promote an open and positive communication between each groups, able to achieve or devise common aims and goals for the benefit and well-being of the resident, maintain consistency and coordinated approach to ensure a uniform care and support being provided for the service user, meeting common objectives and sharing skills, experience and knowledge that will benefit each group which can be use to effectively support the service user.
There are also different barriers that partners can encounter, one of which is mistrust of family members of service user to the system; this could be due to past experience or damaging news. This could be overcome by maintaining a positive and open communication as well as transparency and sharing relevant information. Involving them or soliciting their views and opinion during vital meetings on decision making, making clear and understanding what are the roles and responsibilities of each group/individual in maintaining a positive support and care for the wellbeing of the resident.
As the senior staff member I have the responsibility of ensuring that all junior staff are working in line with what is written on the each residents care plan, the home`s ethos, purpose and mission. In order to maintain a positive working relationship with them we operate an open door policy where they can easily talk to me or to the home manager if they have any issues/concern suggestions and recommendations. I also supervise them at least once every three months or if needed/requested to ensure that they can relay any concerns that they may have either with the residents, colleagues, Home`s management and other relevant individual that they worked with.
Supervision session is also a tool for me to voice out any concern that I may have with them and together find a common ground to deal and resolve the matter minding their own personal and professional limitations. Staff meeting is also a good way to build and strengthen the team work of all of us, we normally discuss ways how to effectively and efficiently support the residents by sharing our own observation and from there we could identify what`s the best way to support them. During staff meeting we also discuss concerns within the home and try to resolve the matter together as a team.
There are instances when junior staff comes to me and voice out their concern and difficulty in dispensing medication to residents for some residents refuses to take their medication and/or refusing to come down and take their medication on time as stated on their Mar Sheet. All staff are aware the residents needs to take their medication for it is vital in ensuring that they maintain in a good and stable state of mental health. Continuous refusal to take medication poses a huge risk of relapse in their mental health and this is what we are trying to avoid. Minding this risk I have spoken to the said resident and together we agreed that if he is not down to take his medication by 10.30 in the morning staff will be coming into his room to dispense the medication in his room.
The resident was made aware that it takes away independence on his part as well as demonstrating that he is not ready yet to self-medicate or to move on to independent living. The said resident agreed with the plan which I did put in writing in his care and support plan. This was communicated to all staff and I ensure that they are aware of the new changes in the care and support plan of that resident. I also devise a form where staff can record the time residents took their medication as well as if they are prompted or not and where they took their medication. This is to gauge the resident’s readiness to eventually self-medicate in the near future.
I admit that I am not perfect in doing my job and I need my junior staff as well as my manager’s support for me to carry on my role, task and responsibility as smoothly, efficient and effective as possible. My manager does supervise me from time to time and I can easily approach him to discuss matters that are not clear to me or I am not sure or confident with. There are occasions that I missed my own targets due to either unforeseen incident or situation, this is where my junior staff comes in and tries to help and support me in achieving my set target.
Junior staff and my Manager also give me feedback on how I perform my task, roles and responsibilities.t am taken on board their comments either it’s a positive or negative ones. I am using this feedback form them to better myself and it also fuels my desire to work harder to turn my weakness into strength and to further strengthen the identified strength that I have based on their feedbacks. I also ensure that I self-appraise myself and set goals and targets for me to achieve in order for me to learn more and gain valuable experience, qualification and improve my confidence in my role.
In every workplace conflict between staff and colleagues always arises, as a senior staff member it is my role to assists the home manager in dealing with any conflict arises between my colleagues. We deal with the conflict professionally and tries to get both sides of the story. We do this either by informal chat or formal supervision session, we also ensure that the quality of care and support that they are providing to the residents are not being affected by any conflict that they have. The key in resolving conflict is communication and being neutral, communication in a sense that we hears both sides of the story without being judgemental or biased, for if otherwise we are about to make judgement that is not fair and would only fuel conflict between staff for it could be interpreted as us taking sides or having favouritism.
For us to deal constructively in any conflict that arises we need to have an open mind, be neutral, gather as much relevant information as possible through communication (this may either by asking concerned parties for their account of the conflict, asking individuals who witness the conflict). At the end we should still ensure not take any side and use this opportunity to reiterate the importance of team work to achieve our common goal of providing quality care and support to our residents. We should also ensure that any conflict between staff ends when they left the office after the mediation between both parties and the home`s management. However if the conflict resulted to a resident being distress and anxious this is a totally different matter and disciplinary action could be enforce to both parties if proven that the conflict between them happens/occur in front of the resident.
Part of my role as a senior staff is to assist the Home Manager in effective and smoothly running the home, one of my role is to work with other professionals involved in the care and support of our residents. If there are any concern regarding the resident and it is beyond what we can do or offer support we immediately inform their respective care team and request for a review meeting in the state of their mental health. We were able to do this by providing relevant written information which we gather through daily contacts with the resident which reflect the current state of their mental health base on their recent presentation, mood and behaviour. We also write what we think is going on base on the information that we gather through close monitoring and observation.
In the absence of the Home Manager or in my own capacity I am able to communicate with other professionals and share relevant information with them, for instance if a resident is either relapsing mentally or requested to have a review in their medication we immediately contacting their Care Coordinator and request for a meeting with the consultant psychiatrist, during this meeting we gave them feedback of how the resident is and if they are relapsing showing them written evidence through catalogue of concerns detailing indicators that the residents are relapsing mentally based on contacts that we have with them.
We also backed it up with their written history of how they behaved whenever they are unwell, once we have done our part it is up to the consultant if they are going to decide to recall the resident back in the hospital or if it can be treated by an increase in the dose of the medication they are taking or if it necessary for the resident to recall them back in the hospital. We also ensure to have a written record/minutes of what was discuss during the meeting for record purposes and for future reference. We also share the information to their GP especially in terms of changes in their medication in order for us to work uniformly and avoid confusion and update both our files with regard to the concern resident.
During CPA meeting with the resident and their care team we were able to review the progress that the resident has been making and what areas needs improvements as well as identifying who have the responsibility in overseeing or ensuring that the goals and objectives set during this meetings are being followed/implemented. For instance during the CPA meeting it has been identified that CD has been taking too many medication that it seems to have a negative effect on CD`s wellbeing and ability to function during the day, the care team which includes his care coordinator and Consultant psychiatrist agreed that CD is taking too many medication and will look into it in the view of reducing the dosage of some medication or to completely stopped/discontinued some of his medication. Any decision made with regard to his medication will have to be communicated to his GP surgery for them to update their records medication wise in order for all of us involved in the care and support of CD to work uniformly in the betterment of his wellbeing.
It is very important to maintain a good working relationship involved in the care and support of our resident for in a sense we are a team with a common goal and objective which is to effectively support and care for our resident in order for them to live their life as independent as possibly can depending on their abilities and skills. In maintaining a good working relationship with other professionals both parties should bear in mind the importance of clear communication and transparency in both parties, for without it distrust, conflict and other negative aspects will arise that could distract us in effectively carry out our duties of care to the resident. We should remain professional in approach and share relevant information with each other from time to time or if needs/situation arises. Regular team meeting with the whole care team is also vital in ensuring that we are still working as one and uniformly, this is also a good avenue to discuss other strategies that the team could try or suggest to the resident in order for them to achieve what their goal or aim is.
It is also important to maintain a good working relationship with other people who are not professional that is involved in the care and support of our residents. This other people/individual could be their legal representative, family or next of kin, friends etc.; for them to be involved in the care and support of our resident shows compassion on their part, in the case of family member, we can collect vital information from them that possibly is not written on their past medical history which could be vital for us to fully understand what our residents require or needs or why they are acting/behaving the way that for us seems to be out of the ordinary.
As close family member they are also the one who our residents will likely to confide with if there are something that are bothering them or what they really think, they might do this for they feel comfortable talking to them rather than their care team for the fear of being misunderstood and whatever they say might be used against them or that they feel that they could not talk to their care team for they often saw us as person with authority or power to recall them back to the hospital or increase any doses of medication they are taking.
For us to maintain a good relationship with them we should work with them in a professional but friendly manner and always be honest and transparent with them in terms of explaining to them what the plan is and how it will benefit their love ones. We should always have their recent contact details on file in order for us to easily communicate with them either by telephone call, post or electronic mail. Any relevant information or plan that we are working on that affects or will benefit their loved ones should be relayed to them and if possible asked for any suggestions and encourage them to pitch in what they think is the best approach to support their love ones.
There are times or occasions that the resident would want to spend time off at their families place, this should be arrange and proper procedure should be followed to ensure the continuity of care and support that the resident will be receiving even though they are away. The key is communication between the home and the family and maintaining regular contact with them during the duration of stay of the resident with them. In a way we are assuring the family that we can and will still support them in any possible way we can.
Maintaining regular contact with family members is very vital in the care and support of our resident. These kind of contact lifts the resident’s spirit knowing that they are not alone and that their family, friends and relatives does not ignore or forget them just because they might have done something wrong in the past or because they are ill. We in the home encourages regular visits and social leave of the residents to spend quality time with their respective family, friends and relatives, providing that we have their full contact details and they are aware of the state of the residents well-being. Contacts with them gave residents the feeling of belongingness knowing that they are loved by others, these contacts could also prevent the resident succumbing to depression that could lead to further deterioration in their mental health.
However they should be made aware of what their roles and responsibilities are whilst the resident are with them. Before agreeing for an overnight leave we always ensure that someone will be responsible in dispensing the resident’s medication on time. We either talk to them over the phone or personally and educate on the importance of medication in maintaining the stability of the residents mental health. Thorough risk assessment is being carried out to ensure that the risk associated with the outing is minimal and manageable.
Once the agreement and risk assessment has been completed we then ensure that the resident have enough medication to last them till the day they are back in the home. We also update our care and support plan record to reflect this activity and also to address who will be responsible to the resident’s well-being whilst he is away from the home. We also devise a procedure for medication that is being taken by the residents on social leave. Identifying who will be responsible is vital for there are occasions that the resident refuses or missed taking their medication intentionally while away, by doing this they are putting themselves at risk of relapse, since family members are aware of the importance of medication they are ensuring that they personally dispense it to them, a copy of the mar sheet is being provided for them to put their initial/sign as a documentary evidence that they dispense the medication to their love ones.
Some family members also becomes interested and are doing their research on the medication that their love ones are taking for them to fully understand why their love ones are taking the medication, what are its side effects and what could be the possible outcome if the residents refuses to take their medication.
Since some family members are becoming interested and curious with the treatment plan for their love ones, they are becoming informed and knowledgeable with the help of other sources of information and not just what we or the care team are telling them. For instance RG`s mum made a query about the frequency of review/visit of her son`s Care Coordinator. She complained that she hasn`t even know who are involved in the care and support of her son apart from us, she is also convince that her son`s behaviour/actions that lead to him being cautioned and arrested by officers has got to do with the state of her son`s mental health. I gave her the information (names, contact numbers and office address) of who her son`s care coordinator and consultant psychiatrist are as well as the last time they came and visited him for a review/meeting. She was also made aware that RG will be seeing them in about two weeks’ time for a meeting and she was advise to join that meeting in order for her to meet other professionals involved in the care and support of her son.
In her view that her son`s recent offending offence has got something to do with the state of his mental health, I inform her that RG is relatively stable mentally and whatever it is that he commit that lead to him being arrested by police officers is purely RG`s behaviour for it happens when he is intoxicated and based on his history RG when intoxicated can become aggressive and would distract public order. Explained to her that we have tried several times to encourage him to seek help and support with his alcohol habit to which he refuses to do saying that he does not have any alcohol problem. At the end we both agree that they going to lessen his daily allowance for RG to just drink within his limit due to limited resources that he will have.