Partnership relationships in health and social care exist between service users and agencies like the social services, educational institutions, their families, occupational therapists, social workers, GPs and Nurses, teachers etc. Agencies in the health and social care system are also expected to work together for better outcomes for the service users they care for. If these relationships are organized effectively the outcomes for the service users is improved. I will use the Rochdale case study to examine the nature of the partnership relationships between the agencies involved in protecting the young girls. I am going to talk about The Rochdale child sexual exploitation case that happened around 2005 to 2013, in wish which a total of seven girls between the ages of 13 to 22 were sexually exploited. A total of 100 people were arrested and questioned by the police, but only ten men ware convicted for more than 25 years each.
Regarding the Rochdale case there was a lot of people involved such as, the police, the sexual health workers, the children social services, Family members, and the specialist child sexual exploitation team.
They failed to properly investigate child sexual exploitation when it was first reported by not recognising the extent and gravity of crimes being committed against the children and the young adults. Many of the offences were first reported shortly after it happened 10 years previous to the convictions to the police, but they didn’t have enough resources to look in to the claims and there weren’t enough officers and the ones that were there weren’t qualified to conduct a proper investigation. When the victims reported they didn’t listen and one of the officers even called one of the victim a prostitute. Their role as the police is to protect the citizens, in my opinion they should have pushed more to try and find out what happened specially when it involves children, tried to persuade the victims that didn’t want to cooperate and pursue all the allegations regarding the case. They should have had some kind of specialist in that field looking in to the cases. At least they recognised their mistake and in 2010 more resources were put in to investigating child sexual exploitation in Rochdale and the earlier reports from the victims were reinvestigated. Due to their investigation they were able to get justice for the victims by convicting those involved.
The sexual workers
The sexual workers reported the problem to the children service workers to be investigated but that’s about the only thing they did, they should have followed up on the case to see if it was properly investigated and also kept a close eye on the children since they knew what was happening, I think the relationship between the sexual workers and the children social services were flawed as they did not follow through with what they were supposed to do which is doing their job properly.
The Children Social Services
Some of the victims spoke to the support workers on more than one occasion about being abused, even giving a detailed complaint to the detectives, but the report shows that the children social services failed to act and the abuse continued, the children social services investigated the reports but concluded that there were not enough evidence to keep investigating the case. The role of the children social service is to investigate any allegations made and suggest what would be the next step needed to solve the problem and to inform the policy to start an enquiry. Later on it was found out that due to cut cost and to create a diverse work force most of the social workers for the young victims with the children social services were unqualified for the job. This is another example of how two organizations have failed in doing their jobs by not focusing on the safeguarding of the victims. I guess one of the good things that the children social services did was to focus on the behaviour and the lifestyle expectations of the young people but that alone was not enough.
There was definitely a lack of communication between the family members, the children social services and the police, when the case was reported the only thing they told the family members is that their children is hanging out with the wrong crowd. What I found strange is that in most of the cases the family members didn’t know what was happening with their children. It was irresponsible of the children social services to just rely on the words of the family members that they would protect their own children when they didn’t even know what was going on with their children, the family didn’t protect their children.
The specialist child sexual exploitation team
The child social services, the police, The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and other organizations came together to create the specialist child sexual exploitation teationm to with only one aim which was to investigate children exploitation. It was a great way to show a good relationship between the organizations. Although that was a good thing, due to lack of communication and not having their roles defined by the organization it fell apart and the specialist child sexual exploitation team sometimes didn’t even have the basic understanding of child sexual exploitation.
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After talking about the Rochdale case we can see that the organizations are not always successful in protecting people, specially children and young adults from abuse which sometimes happen because of lack of communication, but in some cases when organizations come together and work together sharing information having everyone know what their role is in the organizations they are able to help and protect those who need it[DS1].
3.1 Evaluate possible outcomes of partnership working for users of services, professionals and organisations.
In the Health and Social care sector working together in partnership with organisations, the service users and professionals is a must in order to have a broader range and ways to help the children, young adults, adults and elderly.
For this task I will be using the Rochdale and Thetford healthy town case as an example of positive and negative outcomes for working together in partnership in my evaluation of possible outcomes of collaborative for users, professionals and organisations relationship.
The negative outcomes for the service users
Using the Rochdale children exploitation case as an example of a failed partnership working it is obvious that service users experience poor outcomes from poor quality partnerships. I could see that that the system failed the service users; the victims were neglected and ended up being exploited. As they reported the abuse but didn’t get any help in return and in some cases the victim were insulted by the police as they were not well equipped to deal with those kind of situations, and due to a lack of communication between the children social services and the police the victims were left to their own fate and disempowered to do anything about the abuse. This can reduce their self esteem as it can make them feel worthless. Poor partnerships can also lead to frustration, waste of time and redu.ced health and well being of service users
The negative outcome for the Professionals
Poor partnerships can result in lack of competence among professionals, duplication of their efforts, money and time wasting and professional rivalry among some professionals. In the Rochdale case study some of the professionals involved in the case such as the Children Social Service workers weren’t even qualified to be social workers which lead led to a poor management of the case. As the sexual health workers informed the children social services of the abuse and after investigating they concluded that there weren’t enough evidence to send an enquiry to the policy, in this case you can see that miscommunication and professional rivalry played a big role in what happened. as The sexual Health workers didn’t follow up to see what happened with the investigation and the children social services didn’t inform the police as they should have regarding the allegations made by the sexual workers. The children social services and the police didn’t inform the family members of what was happening with the victims. Another case of lack of communication between the professionals and the victims was that time was wasted on people that were meant to support and protect them but at the end neglected them[DS2].
The negative outcome for the Organisation
Organisations involved in poor partnerships are often faced with confusion, waste of financial resources and time leading to a loss of income or revenue. In the Rochdale case study, the organisations were having problems due to lack of communication between them, as their roles weren’t exactly clear, they didn’t know what exactly they were supposed to be doing and they also lacked basic understanding of child sexual exploitation which could put in cause led to the breakdown of the specialist child sexual exploitation team, and a huge financial loss to the tax payer.
Positive outcome for the Organisations
Partnerships that are run well often result in positive outcomes for service users, organisations and professionals. Using the Thetford healthy town initiative as referencer I will discuss the positive outcomes of partnerships to service users, organisations and professionals. In November 2008 Thetford was announced by the Secretary of state as one of the nine towns which was awarded “health town” status and a share of £30 million investment as part of the government program to tackle obesity by increasing physical activity and healthier food choices REF. To make the program work NHS Norfolk and Breckland Council gave £900.000 of funding from the department of Health to support the healthy town initiative REF, we can clearly see that the organisations shared the same view and had the same objective, which helped make the program a success, there was a good communication between them, everyone knew what their role was, the[DS3][DS4] organisations put their efforts together to achieve a positive outcome, they introduced the community to a healthier lifestyle by promoting healthy food and proper diet plan. The NHS and other organisations also gave the residents more programmes that promotes healthy living.
Positive outcome for the service users
Good Communication is the key to a good partner relationship while working together, and in the Thetford health town initiative we could see that there was a good communication between the service users, the Professionals and the Organisations, they were given information which enabled them to make informed choices, they had autonomy over what they wanted to do, they were independent to make their own choices, their lifestyle improved which empowered them to follow the plan and have a positive outcome.
Positive Outcome for the Professionals
We could clearly see that the professionals involved in the Thetford healthy town initiative knew what they were doing. which means They clearly knew what their role was and were well prepared for it. The service provision was well coordinated which avoided mistakes. They approached and solved the problems in a professional way and there also was a good communication between them. They avoided duplications meaning they spent less than what was given to them. The professionals also made use of all the resources given to them by benefiting from each other’s expertise and at the end we could see that their efforts were met with great success as they accomplished their task at the end of the program.
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Through both case studies we can see that sometimes partner relationship works well and in other cases it fails. Partnership working requires effort, time, commitment and resources. It involves finding new ways of working effectively together to solve problems, sharing information between them and communicating with each other. By working together we have to remember that every thing we can do to make it work matters and if you commit to something it will result in a positive outcome.
3.2 Analyse the potential barriers to partnership working in Health and Social Care.
When working together there can be a lot of barriers to partnership working, so it’s up to the service users the professionals and the organisations to work together to overcome those barriers.
Things like lack of understanding of roles and responsibilities, negative attitudes, lack of communication, not sharing information, different priorities and different attitudes and values as well as inadequate funding can cause barriers to partnership working in health and social care.
Lack of understanding of roles and responsibilities
When the service user, the professionals and the organisations don’t know their role or what they are supposed to do, they can’t help anyone. If they don’t have the right training to deal with different kinds of situations they wont be able to do their jobs properly. Also, when the professionals have an unclear role in the organisations he wont have autonomy over anything, they cannot be held accountable will not take any responsibility for failure
When working together we have to respect those we work with. The same goes for good partnership working, for example if a professional has a bad attitude towards a service user it might make him feel threatened and he could lose his trust in the professionals and the organisation. If the professional don’t share information with each other it might put in jeopardy the partnership relationship between them.
Lack of communication
Lack of communication is one of the most common barriers in partnership relationship, it happens because the parties involved don’t share information with each other; they hide information from each other for simple reason such as they think that they are superior to the other party or they think they can do it better the person that is supposed to do It. For example if a service provider calls the GP to ask for a service users health file and there is any kind of rivalry between the professionals they will take a long time to give the file or they might not give it at all, or in other cases if someone makes allegations about something to one organisation they will investigate and decide for themselves if they will proceed, but working together they should involve other organisations to look in to it together, and all those factors contributes to a lack of communications between the organisations, the professionals and the service users[DS5].
Different priorities and attitudes
When organisations working together have different priorities it will definitely cause a barrier to partnership working, organisations have different ways of working they don’t all do things the same way and sometimes when they start working in partnership with someone they might not agree to the way the other organisation work or do things which will affect their relationship and it won’t be beneficial to anyone. Organisations also face professional and cultural barriers. When organisations have different ideologies, values and cultures it will affect the way they work together and to things because each company has their own way of doing things on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes when workers are used to the way their organisation is run they won’t like changes. For example having morning meetings in different times then they were used to, different way of planning things or even conflict over break time can affect the relationship between the organisations. Another example is if one organisation does everything for money and the other organisation does things because they want to help even it implies not making a profit there will be conflict of interest when managing the funding which will definitely create problems between the two organisations.
An organisation working together in partnership has its advantages and disadvantages, even though there are a lot of barriers standing in their way. Its not possible to overcome all of the barriers, but they can be reduced so that the organisations can benefit from working together, After looking through all the barriers it shows that there is always room for improvement[DS7].
3.3 Devise strategies to improve outcomes for partnership working in health and social care services.
To improve partnership working between organisations you have to identify and remove all the barriers to have an effective working relationship in all aspects of the partnership. Delivering an effective partnership outcome demands a lot of work because of different factors including difference in cultures, the way each organisation function, their accountability systems, different modes of governing and problems with the performance of the management. So I will devise some strategies to improve outcomes for partnership working in health and social care services.
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