Summary of Twitter Chat, 6th March 2019, 8-9pm: Interprofessional collaborative practice, exploring how this approach might work best and related influencing factors.

The EBN Twitter Chat on Wednesday the 6th March 2019, 8-9pm was hosted by Associate Editor Helen Noble @helnoble and @EBNursingBMJ with use of #ebnjc. A blog with a helpful introduction to the Twitter Chat can be found here

We were joined by Professor Alison Machin, Head of Department, Nursing Midwifery and Health, Northumbria University and Dr. Anita Atwal, Associate Professor at London South Bank University who led the Twitter Chat. It focused on interprofessional collaborative practice, exploring how this approach might work best and related influencing factors. Anita opened by describing her passion about how IPL influences practice and patient safety and her commitment to co-production within IPL. She also asked if anyone had examples of good interprofessional working? Does it exit and or is it just a myth? Several examples were given including:

Professor Alison Machin – working with colleagues on their collaborative nursing degree.

Dr Ian Walsh – had success working with drama educationalists in healthcare education with improved higher order clinical functioning (empathy, resilience etc). Planning to extend to include law academics

Dr Emma Briggs – interprofessional pain education programme for 1300 students each year, dentistry/ medicine / midwifery/nursing/pharmacy/ physiotherapy.

Linda Smit – developed an blended IPE to enhance interprofessional collaboration in primary care (focus on community living older people). The IPE was developed in co creation with practice, education and research and evaluated the impact by Social Network Analysis.

Scott@nursescott2 – works with a physiologist to facilitate a workshop for student nurses and other health sciences to increase /support /develop biosciences application

Some key points made and areas for future research and action included:

  • We need to hear from those that take part in IPE the difference it is making to their understanding and decision making etc. out in clinical practice.
  • Is IPL part of CPD for most healthcare professionals? I wonder if benefits of IPL might be lost once students are embedded in placement/ make the transition to practice and have to work within the traditional hierarchical framework?
  • Seems at this point that students and staff of all disciplines should be able to have clear understanding of each other’s education, the philosophy that informs practice, role boundaries. Even a short collection on the organisation’s intranet would help
  • Trying to imagine whether there would be a way to measure IPL effect on perceptions of Healthcare providers toward other disciplines and at same time whether their perception/behaviour/decision making with clients/patients/carers changes?

In relation to service users a key point was made:

We need to first explore what issues service users want to address through IPL – ie., improved communication, continuity of care etc. We need to be careful that IPL doesn’t promote professional collaboration at the expense of disempowering service users.

Professor Machin added detail on a relevant paper arising from her PhD study:

Maintaining equilibrium in professional role identity: a grounded theory study of health visitors’ perceptions of their changing professional practice context, available at

Professor Machin added:

Poor teamworking within professions can affect practice, not just across professions. My PhD study of health visitors showed their peers were the biggest influence on the role in action, though the IP working dimension also an influence.

Don’t forget to participate in the next @EBNursingBMJ #ebnjc twitter chat on Wednesday, March 20th at 8pm UK time.

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