Integration of primary health services: being put together does not mean they will work together

Lawn, Sharon, Lloyd, Andrea, King, Alison, Sweet, Linda and Gum, Lyn 2014, Integration of primary health services: being put together does not mean they will work together, BMC research notes, vol. 7, pp. 1-10, doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-7-66.

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Title Integration of primary health services: being put together does not mean they will work together
Author(s) Lawn, Sharon
Lloyd, Andrea
King, Alison
Sweet, LindaORCID iD for Sweet, Linda
Gum, Lyn
Journal name BMC research notes
Volume number 7
Article ID 66
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2014
ISSN 1756-0500
Keyword(s) Interprofessional practice
Community mental health
Primary health care
Summary Background: This paper reports on an Australian experience of co-locating a range of different primary health services into one building, with the aim of providing integrated services. It discusses some of the early challenges involved with moving services together and reasons why collaborative and integrated working relationships to improve the clients' journey, may remain elusive. Methods. Ethnographic observational data was collected within a GP plus site as part of day-to-day interactions between the research officer and health professionals. This involved observations of team processes within and across teams at the site. Observations were thematically analysed using a social anthropological approach. Results: Three main themes arose from the analysis: Infrastructural impediments to collaboration; Territorialism; and Interprofessional practice (IPP) simply not on the agenda. The experience of this setting demonstrates that dedicated staff and resources are needed to keep IPP on the agenda of health service organisations. This is especially important where organisations are attempting to implement new models of collaborative and co-located services. Furthermore, it shows that establishing IPP within newly co-located services is a process that needs time to develop, as part of teams building trust with each other in new circumstances, in order to eventually build a new cultural identity for the co-located services. Conclusions: Co-located health service systems can be complex, with competing priorities and differing strategic plans and performance indicators to meet. This, coupled with the tendency for policy makers to move on to their next issue of focus, and to shift resources in the process, means that adequate time and resources for IPP are often overlooked. Shared interprofessional student placements may be one way forward.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1756-0500-7-66
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, Lawn et al
Free to Read? Yes
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Nursing and Midwifery
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