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Findings Series 10 - Managing Partnerships for Improving Health & Wellbeing

Date: May 2008
Category: Briefing Paper
Author: GCPH

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This paper outlines the purpose, key findings, implications for CHCP management, as well as other factors from research funded by the GCPH which examined the progress of partnership development and early indications of performance in a Glasgow CHCP.

The research set out to evaluate the CHCP’s partnership progress and early indicators of partnership success with a particular focus on:

  • the clarity and acceptance of partnership working;
  • the progress made in different service areas within the CHCP;
  • the nature and development of inter-agency trust; and
  • the way in which organisational and professional identity was developing and changing in light of the unified CHCP structure. 

Some key ‘process’ issues were:

  • Positive pre-conditions for successful partnership existed – staff saw the potential of partnership working for service improvement, were open to new ways of working and organisational change, and a high level of trust among peers across agencies was evident. 
  • Potential obstacles for successful partnership – culture clashes between agencies, confusion about roles and structures, lack of staff capacity, integration or co-location – who, why, how far?, and staff adopted a ‘wait and see’ policy with regards to trust in senior management. 

Overall the research highlighted a number of issues that senior, middle and operational managers could use as a basis for discussion and organisational development activities, and particularly highlighted the need to:

  • create a sense of inter-dependence between staff if partnership is to be considered necessary;
  • recognise the impact of partnership working on job demands;
  • address issues of capacity for change; and

ensure that issues of professional identity are addressed in such a way that the perceived ‘erosion’ of professional identity is not an ongoing barrier to change.