The concept of power


Given that the construct of power is at the bosom of professional formation ( Johnson, 1972 ) , it is expected that there will be some grade of disagreement between professions that are required to work collaboratively for the benefit of service users. Abbott ( 1988 ) has argued that the boundaries between professions are of import countries for survey, as it is at these boundaries that each profession seeks to define its district and achieve laterality over others ( Lymbery, 2004 ) . Lymbery ( 2004 ) further explained that the construct of boundaries has peculiar resonance in the context of inter-professional pattern and if dominated by professional competitions, so there will be anticipated jobs around the quality and sustainability of societal work pattern.

Harmonizing to Lymbery ( 2006 ) recent literature shows that collaborative working within wellness and societal attention is difficult to accomplish, peculiarly in the visible radiation of the huge differences in power and civilization between assorted occupational groupings, and the inherently competitory nature of professions jostling for territorial laterality in the same countries of activity ( Lymbery 2006 ) . Social workers, working together with other professionals such as nurses, wellness visitants and occupational therapy co-workers, have the cognition and accomplishments to heighten the publicity of collaborative pattern ( Glendinning, 2002 ) . Besides by prosecuting service users and other local stakeholders will better inter-professional pattern and this ensures partnerships reflecting reciprocally negotiated aims and community needs instead than centrally driven NHS marks. But this will non go on unless the dominant co-operation discourse is deconstructed and replaced with a more collaborative theoretical account built around teamwork, trust and negotiated precedences. Social work staffs have the power to travel beyond co-operation and work collaboratively, but this requires assurance and self-belief to work consciously and jointly to this consequence. ( Stepney, 2006 )

However, harmonizing to Quinney ( 2006 ) societal workers are continuously working with service users whose demands are acquiring more and more complex thereby necessitating the chance to work collaboratively across traditional boundaries for the benefit of people in community.

During my pattern larning chance ( PLO2 ) at Age Concern, I experience a high degree of inter-professional pattern in my day-to-day work with my directors, supervisors, co-workers, and other professionals and bureaus which facilitated easy sharing of information and created an enabling working to the benefit of people in the community. I besides realised that faltering blocks such as power instability and established work civilizations and moralss are needed to be overcome to enable professions work collaboratively to the benefit of service users.

Age Concern is an independent administration concern with societal work pattern where a good quality of collaborative working is required for the benefit of older people who need to better their ain sense of good being and to hold control of their lives. A critical expression at societal work pattern in my PLO 2 shows that no individual profession will hold the capableness to turn to issues of older people who need attention. This is supported by Bamford ( 1990 ) averment that for societal work profession to better the acknowledgment of their work they need to pattern collaboratively since no individual profession has a monopoly of accomplishments, cognition and expertness in covering with the physical, societal and psychological jobs of service users peculiarly older people ( Lymbery, 2006 ) .

The National Health Service program to develop partnerships and co-operation at all degrees of attention between patients and their households and NHS staff ; between wellness and societal attention sector ; between different authorities sections ; between the populace sector, voluntary administrations and private suppliers in the proviso of NHS patient- centred services ( DoH, 2000C ) . [ Available from: ( ) accessed 04/09/2009 ] .

This work will research my apprehension of collaborative pattern or inter-professional pattern as experience at Age Concern and from formal instruction. Besides the work will look at the deductions of collaborative pattern in societal work puting and more significantly the learning grounds of my self- development and professional development in my learning arrangement.

MY PLACEMENT Setting: Background

Age concern is a voluntary sector administration supplying services and support for people aged 50 and over within the metropolis of Hull boundaries. It was established in 1949 and it ‘s a full member of the national age concern England and 1000 other age concern groups throughout England and Wales. The bureau is based at the Healthy life Centre on the Porter Street near the Hull metropolis Centre. The administration employs a little nucleus squad where chief cardinal workers are qualified societal workers supported by 150 voluntaries. This administration besides offer developing for a good figure of societal work pupil set abouting their arrangement at all degree from both the undergraduate and station alumnus programmes.

Age concern Hull, was officially opened in February 2002 and the edifice is a province of the art building offering services that were identified by their client group. They have a to the full licensed eating house, a cyber cafe` , a chest showing unit, hair tonic, podiatry, a wellness clinic, a charity store, an AIDSs and versions mercantile establishment, an art and trade room, a big sprung floor activity room, were tonss of activities take topographic point. There is besides a little gym and a hydropathy pool, squad room and Jacuzzi, alongside other alternate therapy interventions. Most of the services provided by this company to the aged people they support are done in an anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive mode. Age Concern Hull provides really of import services to their client group and among others constitute the followers:

Provision of community services which includes place visit where general appraisal and falls appraisal are made when necessary. They besides receive referrals ( from household members, neighbors, hospital etc ) and do referrals to other bureaus either by telephone, station, or electronic mail and advocator on their behalf when appropriate. In working with the old people Age Concern Hull, ensures that all information are kept confidential unless the information received poses a hazard to the person. They besides back up older people groups in the community and supply them with a broad scope of leisure installations which includes twenty-four hours center services to advance healthy life styles.

Notwithstanding the above-named services, the administration offer free advice and information on insurance, pensions, grants, legal issues ( e.g. volitions ) and general issues for their client group.These sort of supports can be received either by telephone or face to face at their drop-in Centre.

The administration works with other bureaus both statutory and voluntary ( e.g. go toing assorted meetings, sitting on panels and reappraisal instances etc. ) . Age Concern offer developing programmes and update their staff on new statute laws and services relevant to their clients. They besides provide loan service which includes imparting out valuable resources that may be needed to some of their clients ‘ e.g. electric warmers and wheel chairs etc on short term footing. This administration work in partnership with Hull prisons to supply the older captives there with some signifier of support, information and advice through a signifier of an activity or undertaking. This type of support is manned by a lasting staff employed by Age Concern but is for good based at the prisons and farther supported by societal workers in training.This administration offer some of their clients a service called bury -me-not or befriending service. The chief purpose of this service is to construct friendly relationships with some of the older people who are isolated. Such support includes paying them periodic visits, attach toing them to make their shopping, back uping them to entree societal activities etc.

A list of the chief undertakings I was involved in are as follows:

  • Office Manager Duty
  • Two hebdomads initiation
  • Falls Risk Assessment
  • Community General Assessment
  • Application of grant for service users
  • Attended the undermentioned preparation classs ( citizens of advice agency, public assistance Wrights support, BBC natural money, Dementia preparation, Credit Union, Safeguarding Adult Training, Participatory Appraisal Training )
  • Case direction, Update data base at Age Concern and South Coast Lane
  • Attended to service users at the bead in Centre at Age Concern
  • Worked as a voluntary at the canteen at Age Concern
  • Supported service users in group puting at the twenty-four hours center
  • Involved in African cultural consciousness programme at The Rapp
  • Attended community squad meetings at Age Concern
  • Attended callback yearss at The University of Hull
  • Interagency working
  • Team work with colleague pupils and I had supervisings with my pattern larning assessor and bureau supervisor
  • .


Inter-professional pattern refers to the working relationships between different groups of professionals, for illustration between societal workers, instructors and constabulary officers. Each professional group will convey its ain position to the collaborative procedure. When sing collaborative working it is of import to believe about how best the differing positions can be brought together and how the several professional parts can be harnessed to better the criterion of service and the experiences of service users and carers ( ) [ Accessed 26/09/2009 ] . Harmonizing to McPherson et Al ( 2001 ) educating healthcare professionals is a cardinal issue in the proviso of quality health care services, and inter-professional instruction has been proposed as a agency of run intoing this challenge. Besides McPherson et Al ( 2001 ) show that collaborative working can be indispensable for good clinical results underpins the existent demand to happen out how best to develop a work force that can work together efficaciously. On the footing of this averment, the importance of collaborative pattern in societal work pattern particularly at Age Concern can non be overemphasised.

Larkin and Callaghan ( 2005 ) reappraisal of many surveies on collaborative working shows that non merely effectual organizational constructions are pertinent to the publicity of inter-professional work pattern but the importance of clear functions and duties for squad members. Working at Age Concern with my supervisors and squad members have helped me developed a clearer perceptual experiences of the importance of functions and how squad should work to further collaborative pattern. This averment is supported by Carpenter et Al ( 2003 ) that societal workers in multi-disciplinary puting demand to hold good apprehension of squad function and working so as non to prosecute in function struggle but to gain that support and supervising are of import factors in effectual collaborative pattern. At Age Concern the squad members ever work in partnership with many other bureaus, professionals such as nurses, physicians, occupational healer, energy providers and the Hull metropolis council were service users need to be assessed for attention.

Cook et Al ( 2001 ) found that an incorporate squad attack better the transportation of information and besides promote pooling of expertness, which facilitate job resolution and antiphonal service. The usage of incorporate squad attack truly improved my accomplishments in deciding complex instances. The pattern of collaborative working improves communicating, which is really critical in developing and bettering inter-professional pattern in the wellness and societal attention sector.

Furthermore, the demand for a well defined line of communicating is reiterated in Laming ( 2003 ) study on the decease of Victoria Climbie. The studies incriminations among other things, the dislocation of communicating among professionals who are responsible for presenting quality service. At Age Concern the workers try to work in partnership with other bureaus and professionals non merely by bridging professions boundaries but working confidently with professionals with the same degree of accomplishments and expertness to the benefit of service users. This is grounds from Hardy ( 1999 ) , averment that inter-professional working is non about manipulating the boundaries between the professions and seeking to make a generic attention worker but about developing professionals who are confident in their ain nucleus accomplishments and expertness ( www.learning ) [ accessed 24/09/2009 ] .

Quinney ( 2005 ) explains that societal workers based in societal work squads are expected to cognize how to join forces efficaciously with other professions from a scope of bureaus in order to supply effectual and appropriate services. In add-on, as societal workers are progressively employed in other scenes, societal work pupils need to larn how to rehearse societal work efficaciously and keep a strong professional individuality in any administration or squad and how to work with people from a scope of professional backgrounds in those administrations ( ) [ accessed 24/09/2009 ] . At this background, I put into pattern the thought of understanding the importance of working collaboratively within a squad or with other members from different bureaus and professions, such as nurses, physicians, council workers and service users.

In the contrary, inter-professional pattern possess a spot of jobs where there is power instability and professions show high quality over other professions or squad members desiring to work independently and non sharing information with the remainder of the squad members. Lymbery ( 2005 ) states that:

‘the unsure professional position of societal work creates a peculiar job in relation to the development of collaborative working, as such pattern entails working with some businesss whose professional position has long been accepted and others where the grade of public acceptableness of their work is much higher than for societal work, even though professional position has non been to the full unafraid… and effectual coaction depends on assorted businesss being able to work together in a construction predicated on a para of regard and esteem between them ‘( ) . [ Accessed 24/09/2009 ] .


Inter-professional pattern is designed to supply societal workers and pupils with the cognition and accomplishments of how to work collaboratively to better patient attention. My preparation at Age Concern shows that incorporate squad attack is of import in deciding complex instances presented by service users. Cook et Al ( 2001 ) work emphasise that integrated squad attack facilitate the transportation of information, relationship edifice and promote pooling of expertness, which enhances originative job resolution and better societal work pattern. The acquisition and practicing of collaborative working is found to better inter-professional communicating and this is critical in covering with older people as mentioned in the National Service Framework for Older Peoples ( NSF ) . The kernel of clearly defined line of communicating is farther reiterated by Lord Laming studies ( 2003 ) on Victoria Climbie instance.

In Crippling study one major reverse is the dislocation of communicating among all the wellness and societal work professionals and the jurisprudence enforcement agents. This is a learning point for all societal work trainees who are developing so that they will understand the importance of effectual communicating in their future societal work pattern.

As suggested by Glasby and Lester ( 2004 ) collaborative pattern or partnership working is deemed good for service users and carers, who frequently experience disconnected services, deficiency of continuity of service and conflicting information where professionals and bureaus fail to work collaboratively. At Age concern the usage of the individual appraisal procedure in all referrals make it pertinent to join forces efficaciously with all necessary professionals and bureaus to render a comprehensive service to the older people in the community. Besides service users are involved in every measure of the appraisal procedure and this helps us to present a service which will better their ain sense of good being and to hold control of their ain lives. The audit committee ( 1998 ) back up the premise that working in partnership can assist bureaus to supply a good coordinated service bundle to service users and therefore excite a more originative attack of work outing instances. Age Concern foster co-ordinated partnership with other bureaus and professions through the unfastened door policy and organizational civilization.

Hornby and Atkins ( 2000 ) makes it explicit that awaited jobs that can impact collaborative pattern include divisiveness of linguistic communication, professional possessiveness, professional individuality and issues of duty for originating contact with other workers, and that solutions should take into account structural and personal issues on an inter-professional, inter-agency and inter-personal degree.

My experience at Age Concern shows that joint working or working across bureaus can be nerve-racking and dashing and it takes more than merely cognition and accomplishments to remain focus and present the best service to the older people in the community. Harmonizing to Lymbery ( 2006 ) , inter-professional competitions can impact collaborative pattern when covering with service users. Abbott ( 1988 ) emphasise that the boundaries between professions can derail collaborative pattern, as it is at these boundaries that each profession seeks to define its district and achieve laterality over others ( Lymbery, 2004 ) . The construct of boundaries has peculiar resonance in the context of inter-professional pattern and if inter-professional working is to be dominated by professional competitions, so there will be anticipated jobs around the quality and sustainability of societal work pattern.

Consideration must non merely be given to the coaction between professionals but besides between administrations such as the local authorization grownup scene and community service, the constabulary authorization and other voluntary administrations. Social workers should make the consciousness of the different civilizations and working patterns within different administrations and seek happening out how to resource and priorities workers. In attention proviso, service users and carers may hold complex demands necessitating different types of aid provided by a scope of bureaus. Even when groups of bureaus are organised to work together, such as in an intermediate attention squad, coaction between professionals is indispensable to the successful proviso of attention ( ) [ accessed 24/09/2009 ] .


My experience at Age Concern and the huge information available from literature make it explicit that societal workers or pupils need to exhibit committedness to anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory pattern and holding a thorough apprehension of the functions of other professionals who we need to work in coaction. Second, the turning investings and the Labour Government policies initiated taking to better quality of attention for older people, makes it more of import that societal workers focus on bettering our cognition and accomplishments on inter-professional coaction to supply the best of attention for service users.

In recent plants of Weinstein et Al ( 2003 ) and Quinney ( 2006 ) it has become obvious that to guarantee service users have a straightforward tract between the different services, professionals must portion information, clear up their several functions, and to get the better of barriers caused by power instability, values, work civilization and word picture of professions and merely this will be able to develop and better inter-professional pattern so as to present comprehensive services.

I now have a clear apprehension of my function as a societal worker and that of others, and how my work moralss, working environment and relationships with other squad members, supervisors, directors and other professionals will impact on the quality of service offered to service users.


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