5: Recommendations for policy and practice

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Ultimately, the evidence, questions, summaries, learning and frameworks set out in this book lead us to make a series of practical recommendations and potential warnings, both for policy and for practice.

For policy-makers

  • There is a need to consider the implications for existing teams and services when they exhort new teams or style of working. Creating new teams in any area will affect existing teams, their working practices and relationships, and may hinder the development of practice as people struggle to differentiate roles and boundaries.

  • Measures of teams in organisations are sometimes only built around their existence, not around their effectiveness; this perhaps adds to cynicism around rhetoric, as opposed to commitment, to teamworking.

  • Although teamworking may be helpful in a number of ways, it is not a default position that will solve all difficulties. Teams need real tasks and a real need to work together in order to be effective. Simply ordering more of certain types of teams will not overcome the difficulties that health and social care communities face.

  • National policy needs to send out stronger messages about how organisations need to make investments in enhancing and sustaining teamworking, rather than just one-off training.

  • There is a real need to have some stability in the system. Improvement in services is about doing something differently. To do this, people need to take risks and they will not feel safe to do so until there is a climate of mutual trust and respect, which takes time to develop.

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