Team working should be the ‘new normal’ after COVID-19 says new report.

As healthcare services begin to explore ways to reset and restore following the initial outbreak of COVID-19 the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges is today (29th May 2020) publishing a timely new report Developing professional identity in multi-professional teams setting out how team working involving a wide group of healthcare professionals improves both patient care and staff wellbeing.

Extensively researched, using focus groups and case studies from across the UK, the report also shows:

· How professional identities can be maintained and developed when areas of responsibility can sometimes become blurred.

· Why multi-professional working is well placed to become the standard model for the way care is delivered as services recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

· How productivity and job-satisfaction also increase when traditional silos and working practises are broken down.

The need to overcome the barriers that can exist between different clinical groups has long been recognised as crucial to the modernisation of healthcare. But, while some progress has been made in some health and care settings, many observers accept that traditional working practises - with strict boundaries about who does what – have remained hard to shift in some areas and specialties. And while professional identity is always important to clinicians, the findings show that this can be enhanced rather than seen as ‘protectionism’ by others.

Commenting on the publication, Academy Chair, Professor Carrie MacEwen said,

‘As we work to ensure the healthcare systems across the UK are restored, we must take the opportunity to look at new ways of working and embed more broadly concepts of improved multi-disciplinary working that have been shown to work. This report shows there is no single clinical discipline that has a monopoly on wisdom and that a team is always greater than the sum of its parts. I hope this is useful as a tool to assist in the way forward because, as is amply demonstrated by the case studies, multi-professional working provides a win for patients and a win for staff.’

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