Multi-disciplinary and multi agency working.
Collaborative care has been at the top of the care agenda for a number of years and involves bringing a whole group of agencies together to care for and support one individual service user. An individual service user in a care home setting will not only require support from the care staff that help them on an hourly/daily basis but also from a number of outside agencies.
Problems do arise however for instance few GPs see social care workers as their peers, this is true of other agencies such as the District nurses, Psychiatrists and other so called professionals. Despite the obstacles, dealing with vulnerable adults requires a network of collaborative relationships and these will include their social worker/care manager, the family, the local community, the GP, perhaps a Psychiatrist, the District Nurses, possibly an Incontinence Nurse, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Pharmacist, Dietician, as well as the Optician and Chiropodist.
All of these individual and diverse agencies have undergone completely different training and therefore are unlikely to share the same priorities, Values, and expectations etc. A professional of any description is likely to feel a sense of loyalty and commitment to their own agency making it more difficult for them to be able to function as part of a multi-agency team and they may feel a certain disloyalty if they find themselves favouring ideas or solutions put across by staff from another agency. Institutional and professional politics could also contribute to the difficulties faced my multi-agency working. Stereotyping amongst agencies is also a problem and a barrier to collaborative working, if a GP comes into the care setting that comes across as aloof etc we would tend to say that he is a typical Doctor.
The GP probably looks at care workers as a stereotype also and although this is not good practice it something that everyone does without thinking at some point.
As long as the goal is the same for all agencies concerned and relationships are cultivated between those agencies the individuals in the care setting will benefit greatly.