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Identify the features of effective partnership working

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

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Partnership working is where multiple agencies work in collaboration. For example, the transition of an individual with a learning disability into a supported living care service could involve the individual, their family, the care provider, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the local authority (social services).

This means that resources can be pooled and expertise from a variety of different sources can be shared.

Effective partnership working involves all stakeholders having shared goals and values. It is important for each member of the partnership to want the same outcomes so that they are motivated to participate. In the supported living example above, the shared goal may be for the individual to be able to live as independently as possible – the individual wants to move out of their parent’s house, the family want the individual to have the skills to be able to look after themselves when they are unable to do so, the care provider wants to increase their client list and the local authority and CCG are sharing the funding of the service.

As well as shared goals and values, strong communication skills are needed to work in collaboration effectively. All parties should be able to listen to one another and understand each other’s perspectives. When disagreements occur, skills in mediation and negotiation may be required as well as the ability to compromise. Partners should also be able to trust one another.

It is important to formalise a partnership with a written agreement of the purpose of the collaboration. The responsibilities of each party should also be documented as well as the channels of communication that will be used and protocols for the sharing of information (with due consideration of confidentiality).

Government guidance for adult care providers working in partnership with other agencies can be found here.

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