Children's nursing and interprofessional collaboration: challenges and opportunities.

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Sam Lines

Children’s nursing and interprofessional collaboration: challenges and opportunities

Interprofessional working is perceived as one of the ways in which the new NHS can achieve ‘working as one’. Achievement of these goals will result in an integrated care system but the success is dependant on many factors including co-operation replacing competition. In history practitioners could be described as uni-professional where they are confined within their own disciplines. In the context of Interprofessional working, practitioners are being urged to learn from and about each other so that professional boundaries are effectively crossed for the benefit of the service user.    

 The subject of interprofessional collaboration, after developing a momentum in the U.K to a position where it is beginning to have a positive effect on the structure and functioning of the NHS, has recently received heightened scrutiny in the nursing press. Despite this not enough attention has been given to putting these developments in the context of practitioners working within children’s nursing. Interprofessional collaboration, amongst other benefits, offers many opportunities for professional development and in putting forward the implications to practitioners working within children’s nursing this paper aims to redress the imbalance.

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Implications for children’s nurses

It has been argued that this pluralistic vision of healthcare is nothing new. The complexity of individual health in a public and social context has always needed a mixed economy of provision (Ackers & Abbott, 1996). In the context of children in as early as the 1950’s prominent psychologists such as Bowlby suggested that uni-institutional and professional provision of services was dehumanising.

 Historically the profession of children’s nursing has fought hard to gain professional autonomy. The Court Report (DOH, 1976) formally recognised the importance of a dedicated profession with specialist knowledge in ...

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