Interprofessional Education and Effective Partnerships Between Health and Social Care

Professor Alison Machin, Head of Department, Nursing Midwifery and Health, Northumbria University

Dr. Anita Atwal, Associate Professor Interprofessional Working, School of Health & Social Care, London South Bank University


Join the EBN Twitter Chat on Wednesday the 6th March 2019, 8-9pm UK time which will be hosted by Professor Alison Machin, Head of Department, Nursing Midwifery and Health, Northumbria University and Dr. Anita Atwal, Associate Professor at London South Bank University. It will focus on interprofessional collaborative practice, exploring how this approach might work best and it’s influencing factors.

Participating in the Twitter chat requires a Twitter account; if you do not already have one you can create an account at Once you have an account contributing is straightforward, you can follow the discussion by searching links to #ebnjc (the EBN chat hash tag) and contribute by sending a tweet (tweets are text messages currently limited to 140 characters), you need to add #ebnjc to your tweet as this allows everyone taking part to view your tweets.

Interprofessional education (IPE) is an approach to develop healthcare students for future Interprofessional teams. Collaborative practice occurs when healthcare providers work with people from within their own profession, with people outside of their profession and with service users/clients and their families Whilst IPE is supported in theory, it is often difficult to implement in professional practice and even within academic institutions. A systematic review exploring students’ experiences of IPE found tensions between student groups were exacerbated by academic attitudes and those conversations created hierarchies in relation to a student’s ‘pecking order’ within the health care team (Butcher et al 2015)

There is an absence of quality research exploring the benefits of IPE. A systematic review investigating the state of IPE in nursing concluded it was not possible to identify the best methodology for implementing it, particularly in relation to simulation and teaching methodologies (Rutherford-Hemming and Lioce 2018). There appears to be a blanket assumption that inter-professional teams are good for all types of patients yet the evidence to support these claims is remarkably slim (Reeves et al 2017).

Most health care professionals understand the importance of teamwork in health and social care but effective partnership between health and social care remains elusive? . High profile reported failures in care invariably highlight communication between individual, teams and organisations as a factor influencing the experience people suing services and the outcomes of their engagement.

This Twitter chat will consider a range of questions including:

What examples of excellent interprofessional collaborative practice can we share? How many different examples can we get from different countries?

Where interprofessional working has not worked so well, what factors influenced this?

How can service users be fully involved in interprofessional care planning and decision making? Are there examples of where this has worked well?

Where do you think Interprofessional learning works best?

What ideas are there for research studies that can demonstrate the influence of interprofessional learning on services users, families and carers?

Butcher D, MacKinnon K, Bruce A, Gordon C, Koning C. (2015) The experiences of pre-licensure or pre-registration health professional students and their educators in working with intra-professional teams: a systematic review of qualitative evidence protocol. JBI Database System Reviews and Implementation Report 13(7):119-30
Rutherford-Hemming T, Lioce L (2018) State of Interprofessional Education in Nursing: A Systematic Review 43(1):9-13.

Reeves S, Pelone F, Harrison R, Goldman J, Zwarenstein M (2017) Interprofessional collaboration to improve professional practice and healthcare outcomes. Cochrane Database Systematic Review Jun 22;6:CD000072.

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