Joint (thinking &) working: the drive(r) for change

 This is the essence of the intelligent use of a systems approach but it would be foolish to expect the listed benefits to be automatically generated without an understanding of the organizational and workflow changes needed to enable this.

There is a lot of hidden and transformational detail in the phrase ‘a seamless joined up approach’




Features: February 27th, 2009
By Peter O’Hara

Ill health and disabilities come in different forms which are often complex and inter-related. For this reason, health and care services have been brought together to provide holistic support. But this integration has a long way to go because the culture in the health service differs from that in the care service. The author explores the barriers to cultural change and looks at ways to progress successful joint working.

It is widely recognised that fragmented services in health and social care create a barrier to effective care provision within both children and adult services. The way forward for health and social care, in order to transform existing services, is to adopt joint working approach. This improves the service user experience and outcomes through removing organisational barriers between the different services.

Benefits of joint working;

• Improves service delivery
• Economies of scale
• Efficiency savings through improved systems and practices
• Sharing of best practice
• Streamlines communication and information flows
• A more modernised, efficient and effective health and social care service
• Enhances public confidence
• Facilitates a co-ordinated, strategic approach
• Reduces duplication
• Improves credibility
• Creates cost and time savings

The benefits of a seamless joined up approach are undisputed and many. For instance, it enables the realisation of ideas more effectively and efficiently; it leads to a co-ordinated approach; and cross-boundary issues can be addressed in a coherent manner. However, most importantly, it provides a more inclusive and holistic service. …………….

………………Local authorities must champion the culture change necessary and successfully breakdown historical departmental barriers in order to transform the shape of the public sector and drive forward successful reforms such as joint working.

Peter O’Hara is CEO with the OLM Group, an independent supplier of information solutions for children’s and adult services.

For further information please visit, telephone 020 8973 1100 or email

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