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1.  Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care: lessons from the theory of communities of practice 
Background
The paper combines the analytical and instrumental perspectives on communities of practice (CoPs) to reflect on potential challenges that may arise in the process of interprofessional and inter-organisational joint working within the Collaborations for Leaderships in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs)--partnerships between the universities and National Health Service (NHS) Trusts aimed at conducting applied health research and translating its findings into day-to-day clinical practice.
Discussion
The paper discusses seminal theoretical literature on CoPs as well as previous empirical research on the role of these communities in healthcare collaboration, which is organised around the following three themes: knowledge sharing within and across CoPs, CoP formation and manageability, and identity building in CoPs. It argues that the multiprofessional and multi-agency nature of the CLAHRCs operating in the traditionally demarcated organisational landscape of the NHS may present formidable obstacles to knowledge sharing between various professional groupings, formation of a shared 'collaborative' identity, and the development of new communities within the CLAHRCs. To cross multiple boundaries between various professional and organisational communities and hence enable the flow of knowledge, the CLAHRCs will have to create an effective system of 'bridges' involving knowledge brokers, boundary objects, and cross-disciplinary interactions as well as address a number of issues related to professional and organisational identification.
Summary
The CoP approach can complement traditional 'stage-of-change' theories used in the field of implementation research and provide a basis for designing theory-informed interventions and evaluations. It can help to illuminate multiple boundaries that exist between professional and organisational groups within the CLAHRCs and suggest ways of crossing those boundaries to enable knowledge transfer and organisational learning. Achieving the aims of the CLAHRCs and producing a sustainable change in the ways applied health research is conducted and implemented may be influenced by how effectively these organisations can navigate through the multiple CoPs involved and promote the development of new multiprofessional and multi-organisational communities united by shared practice and a shared sense of belonging--an assumption that needs to be explored by further empirical research.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-6-64
PMCID: PMC3130688  PMID: 21699712
2.  Role construction and boundaries in interprofessional primary health care teams: a qualitative study 
Background
The move towards enhancing teamwork and interprofessional collaboration in health care raises issues regarding the management of professional boundaries and the relationship among health care providers. This qualitative study explores how roles are constructed within interprofessional health care teams. It focuses on elucidating the different types of role boundaries, the influences on role construction and the implications for professionals and patients.
Methods
A comparative case study was conducted to examine the dynamics of role construction on two interprofessional primary health care teams. The data collection included interviews and non-participant observation of team meetings. Thematic content analysis was used to code and analyze the data and a conceptual model was developed to represent the emergent findings.
Results
The findings indicate that role boundaries can be organized around interprofessional interactions (giving rise to autonomous or collaborative roles) as well as the distribution of tasks (giving rise to interchangeable or differentiated roles). Different influences on role construction were identified. They are categorized as structural (characteristics of the workplace), interpersonal (dynamics between team members such as trust and leadership) and individual dynamics (personal attributes). The implications of role construction were found to include professional satisfaction and more favourable wait times for patients. A model that integrates these different elements was developed.
Conclusions
Based on the results of this study, we argue that autonomy may be an important element of interprofessional team functioning. Counter-intuitive as this may sound, we found that empowering team members to develop autonomy can enhance collaborative interactions. We also argue that while more interchangeable roles could help to lessen the workloads of team members, they could also increase the potential for power struggles because the roles of various professions would become less differentiated. We consider the conceptual and practical implications of our findings and we address the transferability of our model to other interprofessional teams.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-486
PMCID: PMC4222600  PMID: 24267663
Role boundaries; Interprofessional collaboration; Influences on role construction; Comparative case study
3.  Achieving Continuity of Care: Facilitators and Barriers in Community Mental Health Teams 
Background
The integration of mental health and social services for people diagnosed with severe mental illness (SMI) has been a key aspect of attempts to reform mental health services in the UK and aims to minimise user and carer distress and confusion arising from service discontinuities. Community mental health teams (CMHTs) are a key component of UK policy for integrated service delivery, but implementing this policy has raised considerable organisational challenges. The aim of this study was to identify and explore facilitators and barriers perceived to influence continuity of care by health and social care professionals working in and closely associated with CMHTs.
Methods
This study employed a survey design utilising in-depth, semi-structured interviews with a proportionate, random sample of 113 health and social care professionals and representatives of voluntary organisations. Participants worked in two NHS Mental Health Trusts in greater London within eight adult CMHTs and their associated acute in-patient wards, six local general practices, and two voluntary organisations.
Results
Team leadership, decision making, and experiences of teamwork support were facilitators for cross boundary and team continuity; face-to-face communication between teams, managers, general practitioners, and the voluntary sector were facilitators for information continuity. Relational, personal, and longitudinal continuity were facilitated in some local areas by workforce stability. Barriers for cross boundary and team continuity were specific leadership styles and models of decision making, blurred professional role boundaries, generic working, and lack of training for role development. Barriers for relational, personal, and longitudinal continuity were created by inadequate staffing levels, high caseloads, and administrative duties that could limit time spent with users. Incompatibility of information technology systems hindered information continuity. Flexible continuity was challenged by the increasingly complex needs of service users.
Conclusions
Substantive challenges exist in harnessing the benefits of integrated CMHT working to deliver continuity of care. Team support should be prioritised in terms of IT provision linked to a review of current models of administrative support. Investment in education and training for role development, leadership, workforce retention, and skills to meet service users' complex needs are recommended.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-6-23
PMCID: PMC3073925  PMID: 21418579
4.  Primary Care Research Team Assessment (PCRTA): development and evaluation. 
BACKGROUND: Since the early 1990s the United Kingdom (UK) Department of Health has explicitly promoted a research and development (R&D) strategy for the National Health Service (NHS). General practitioners (GPs) and other members of the primary care team are in a unique position to undertake research activity that will complement and inform the research undertaken by basic scientists and hospital-based colleagues and lead directly to a better evidence base for decision making by primary care professionals. Opportunities to engage in R&D in primary care are growing and the scope for those wishing to become involved is finally widening. Infrastructure funding for research-active practices and the establishment of a range of support networks have helped to improve the research capacity and blur some of the boundaries between academic departments and clinical practice. This is leading to a supportive environment for primary care research. There is thus a need to develop and validate nationally accepted quality standards and accreditation of performance to ensure that funders, collaborators and primary care professionals can deliver high quality primary care research. Several strategies have been described in national policy documents in order to achieve an improvement in teaching and clinical care, as well as enhancing research capacity in primary care. The development of both research practices and primary care research networks has been recognised as having an important contribution to make in enabling health professionals to devote more protected time to undertake research methods training and to undertake research in a service setting. The recognition and development of primary care research has also brought with it an emphasis on quality and standards, including an approach to the new research governance framework. PRIMARY CARE RESEARCH TEAM ASSESSMENT: In 1998, the NHS Executive South and West, and later the London Research and Development Directorate, provided funding for a pilot project based at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to develop a scheme to accredit UK general practices undertaking primary care R&D. The pilot began with initial consultation on the development of the process, as well as the standards and criteria for assessment. The resulting assessment schedule allowed for assessment at one of two levels: Collaborative Research Practice (Level I), with little direct experience of gaining project or infrastructure funding Established Research Practice (Level II), with more experience of research funding and activity and a sound infrastructure to allow for growth in capacity. The process for assessment of practices involved the assessment of written documentation, followed by a half-day assessment visit by a multidisciplinary team of three assessors. IMPLEMENTATION--THE PILOT PROJECT: Pilot practices were sampled in two regions. Firstly, in the NHS Executive South West Region, where over 150 practices expressed an interest in participating. From these a purposive sample of 21 practices was selected, providing a range of research and service activity. A further seven practices were identified and included within the project through the East London and Essex Network of Researchers (ELENoR). Many in this latter group received funding and administrative support and advice from ELENoR in order to prepare written submissions for assessment. Some sample loss was encountered within the pilot project, which was attributable largely to conflicting demands on participants' time. Indeed, the preparation of written submissions within the South West coincided with the introduction of primary care groups (PCGs) in April 1999, which several practices cited as having a major impact on their participation in the pilot project. A final sample of 15 practices (nine in the South West and six through ELENoR) underwent assessment through the pilot project. EVALUATION: A formal evaluation of the Primary Care Research Team Assessment (PCRTA) pilot was undertaken by an independent researcher (FM). This was supplemented with feedback from the assessment team members. The qualitative aspect of the evaluation, which included face-to-face and telephone interviews with assessors, lead researchers and other practice staff within the pilot research practices, as well as members of the project management group, demonstrated a positive view of the pilot scheme. Several key areas were identified in relation to particular strengths of research practices and areas for development including: Strengths Level II practices were found to have a strong primary care team ethos in research. Level II practices tended to have a greater degree of strategic thinking in relation to research. Development areas Level I practices were found to lack a clear and explicit research strategy. Practices at both levels had scope to develop their communication processes for dissemination of research and also for patient involvement. Practices at both levels needed mechanisms for supporting professional development in research methodology. The evaluation demonstrated that practices felt that they had gained from their participation and assessors felt that the scheme had worked well. Some specific issues were raised by different respondents within the qualitative evaluation relating to consistency of interpretation of standards and also the possible overlap of the assessment scheme with other RCGP quality initiatives. NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PRIMARY CARE RESEARCH TEAM ASSESSMENT: The pilot project has been very successful and recommendations have been made to progress to a UK scheme. Management and review of the scheme will remain largely the same, with a few changes focusing on the assessment process and support for practices entering the scheme. Specific changes include: development of the support and mentoring role of the primary care research networks increased peer and external support and mentoring for research practices undergoing assessment development of assessor training in line with other schemes within the RCGP Assessment Network work to ensure consistency across RCGP accreditation schemes in relation to key criteria, thereby facilitating comparable assessment processes refinement of the definition of the two groups, with Level I practices referred to as Collaborators and Level II practices as Investigator-Led. The project has continued to generate much enthusiasm and support and continues to reflect current policy. Indeed, recent developments include the proposed new funding arrangements for primary care R&D, which refer to the RCGP assessment scheme and recognise it as a key component in the future R&D agenda. The assessment scheme will help primary care trusts (PCTs) and individual practices to prepare and demonstrate their approach to research governance in a systematic way. It will also provide a more explicit avenue for primary care trusts to explore local service and development priorities identified within health improvement programmes and the research priorities set nationally for the NHS.
PMCID: PMC2560501  PMID: 12049028
5.  Integration of primary health services: being put together does not mean they will work together 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:66.
Background
This paper reports on an Australian experience of co-locating a range of different primary health services into one building, with the aim of providing integrated services. It discusses some of the early challenges involved with moving services together and reasons why collaborative and integrated working relationships to improve the clients’ journey, may remain elusive.
Methods
Ethnographic observational data was collected within a GP plus site as part of day-to-day interactions between the research officer and health professionals. This involved observations of team processes within and across teams at the site. Observations were thematically analysed using a social anthropological approach.
Results
Three main themes arose from the analysis: Infrastructural impediments to collaboration; Territorialism; and Interprofessional practice (IPP) simply not on the agenda. The experience of this setting demonstrates that dedicated staff and resources are needed to keep IPP on the agenda of health service organisations. This is especially important where organisations are attempting to implement new models of collaborative and co-located services. Furthermore, it shows that establishing IPP within newly co-located services is a process that needs time to develop, as part of teams building trust with each other in new circumstances, in order to eventually build a new cultural identity for the co-located services.
Conclusions
Co-located health service systems can be complex, with competing priorities and differing strategic plans and performance indicators to meet. This, coupled with the tendency for policy makers to move on to their next issue of focus, and to shift resources in the process, means that adequate time and resources for IPP are often overlooked. Shared interprofessional student placements may be one way forward.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-66
PMCID: PMC3915222  PMID: 24479605
Interprofessional practice; Territorialism; Co-location; Community mental health; Primary health care
6.  Technology adoption and implementation in organisations: comparative case studies of 12 English NHS Trusts 
BMJ Open  2012;2(2):e000872.
Objectives
To understand organisational technology adoption (initiation, adoption decision, implementation) by looking at the different types of innovation knowledge used during this process.
Design
Qualitative, multisite, comparative case study design.
Setting
One primary care and 11 acute care organisations (trusts) across all health regions in England in the context of infection prevention and control.
Participants and data analysis
121 semistructured individual and group interviews with 109 informants, involving clinical and non-clinical staff from all organisational levels and various professional groups. Documentary evidence and field notes were also used. 38 technology adoption processes were analysed using an integrated approach combining inductive and deductive reasoning.
Main findings
Those involved in the process variably accessed three types of innovation knowledge: ‘awareness’ (information that an innovation exists), ‘principles’ (information about an innovation's functioning principles) and ‘how-to’ (information required to use an innovation properly at individual and organisational levels). Centralised (national, government-led) and local sources were used to obtain this knowledge. Localised professional networks were preferred sources for all three types of knowledge. Professional backgrounds influenced an asymmetric attention to different types of innovation knowledge. When less attention was given to ‘how-to’ compared with ‘principles’ knowledge at the early stages of the process, this contributed to 12 cases of incomplete implementation or discontinuance after initial adoption.
Conclusions
Potential adopters and change agents often overlooked or undervalued ‘how-to’ knowledge. Balancing ‘principles’ and ‘how-to’ knowledge early in the innovation process enhanced successful technology adoption and implementation by considering efficacy as well as strategic, structural and cultural fit with the organisation's context. This learning is critical given the policy emphasis for health organisations to be innovation-ready.
Article summary
Article focus
Despite policy support and the development of a dedicated evidence dissemination infrastructure in the NHS, why is technology adoption and implementation still a challenge?
We need to understand better how the innovation process unfolds in organisations to build on what we know about individual behaviours. In particular, how the use of different types of knowledge about an innovation impacts its adoption and implementation.
Key messages
In our study, centralised dissemination of evidence had minimal to moderate impact on organisational innovation adoption decisions. Practice-based, peer-mediated and local dissemination systems were perceived more relevant.
In contrast to technology adoption by individuals, organisational adoption required a wider multifaceted conceptualisation of ‘how-to’ knowledge in line with the more complex dynamics in organisations. When ‘how-to’ knowledge was undervalued and considered late, important strategic, structural and cultural elements of the trust's context were overlooked. This had negative implications for technology adoption and implementation.
Professional backgrounds of those involved in the process influenced the types of innovation knowledge considered, which had implications for implementation. The involvement of diverse professionals in decision-making improves the chances of successful implementation through a balanced consideration of the strength of scientific evidence and practical application.
Strengths and limitations of this study
The scale of the study, its real time and longitudinal nature provide a rich data set. Our study is theory driven and comprises multisite comparative case studies, which enhance the generalisability of findings beyond the context of the studied trusts.
We explicitly studied cases of non-adoption and discontinuation after initial adoption to provide important learning often missing from innovation diffusion research.
On limitations, we were not able to follow implementation past the end of August 2010 and therefore do not have information on routinised use of the implemented technologies.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-000872
PMCID: PMC3329608  PMID: 22492183
7.  Parents' experiences of collaboration between welfare professionals regarding children with anxiety or depression - an explorative study 
Introduction
Well-functioning collaboration between professionals in the welfare sector has a strong influence on the contacts with parents of children and adolescents suffering from mental illness, and it is a precondition for the availability of support for these parents. This paper describes how such parents perceive collaboration between professionals in mental health care, social services, and schools.
Methods
This was a small-scale qualitative study. Data were collected by in-depth interviews with seven parents of children and adolescents diagnosed with anxiety and depression. The families were selected from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health patient records kept by the Stockholm County Council (Sweden), and they all lived in a catchment area for Child and Adolescent Mental Health outpatient services in Stockholm.
Results and discussion
Our results suggest that when the encounter between parents and professionals is characterised by structure and trust, it is supportive and serves as a holding environment. Parents think that communication links and coordination between professionals from different organisations are needed in the collaboration, along with appropriately scheduled and well-performed joint meetings to create structure in the parent-professional encounter. Parents also think that establishment of trust in this interaction is promoted by individual professionals who are available, provide the parents with adequate information, are skilled, and show empathy and commitment.
PMCID: PMC3817954  PMID: 24198739
patients' perceptions; collaboration; child and adolescent mental health; child welfare; holding environment
8.  Making sense of evidence in management decisions: the role of research-based knowledge on innovation adoption and implementation in healthcare. study protocol 
Background
We know that patient care can be improved by implementing evidence-based innovations and applying research findings linked to good practice. Successfully implementing innovations in complex organisations, such as the UK's National Health Service (NHS), is often challenging as multiple contextual dynamics mediate the process. Research studies have explored the challenges of introducing innovations into healthcare settings and have contributed to a better understanding of why potentially useful innovations are not always implemented in practice, even if backed by strong evidence. Mediating factors include health policy and health system influences, organisational factors, and individual and professional attitudes, including decision makers' perceptions of innovation evidence. There has been limited research on how different forms of evidence are accessed and utilised by organisational decision makers during innovation adoption. We also know little about how diverse healthcare professionals (clinicians, administrators) make sense of evidence and how this collective sensemaking mediates the uptake of innovations.
Methods
The study will involve nine comparative case study sites of acute care organisations grouped into three regional clusters across England. Each of the purposefully selected sites represents a variety of trust types and organisational contexts. We will use qualitative methods, in-depth interviews, observation of key meetings, and systematic analysis of relevant secondary data to understand the rationale and challenges involved in sourcing and utilising innovation evidence in the empirical setting of infection prevention and control. We will use theories of innovation adoption and sensemaking in organisations to interpret the data. The research will provide lessons for the uptake and continuous use of innovations in the English and international health systems.
Discussion
Unlike most innovation studies, which involve single-level analysis, our study will explore the innovation-adoption process at multiple embedded levels: micro (individual), meso (organisational), and macro (interorganisational). By comparing and contrasting across the nine sites, each with different organisational contexts, local networks, leadership styles, and different innovations considered for adoption, the findings of the study will have wide relevance. The research will produce actionable findings responding to the political and economic need for healthcare organisations to be innovation-ready.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-22
PMCID: PMC3325880  PMID: 22436094
Evidence; Sensemaking; Innovation adoption; Infection prevention; Qualitative; National Health Service (NHS); Hospital; Implementation
9.  ‘Talking a different language’: an exploration of the influence of organizational cultures and working practices on transition from child to adult mental health services 
Background
Organizational culture is manifest in patterns of behaviour underpinned by beliefs, values, attitudes and assumptions, which can influence working practices. Cultural factors and working practices have been suggested to influence the transition of young people moving from child to adult mental health services. Failure to manage and integrate transitional care effectively can lead to young people losing contact with health and social care systems, resulting in adverse effects on health, well-being and potential.
Methods
The study aim was to identify the organisational factors which facilitate or impede transition of young people from child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to adult mental health services (AMHS) from the perspective of health professionals and representatives of voluntary organisations. Specific objectives were (i) to explore organizational cultures, structures, processes and resources which influence transition from child to adult mental health services; (ii) identify factors which constitute barriers and facilitators to transition and continuity of care and (iii) make recommendations for service improvements. Within an exploratory, qualitative design thirty four semi-structured interviews were conducted with health and social care professionals working in CAMHS and AMHS in four NHS Mental Health Trusts and four voluntary organizations, in England.
Results
A cultural divide appears to exist between CAMHS and AMHS, characterized by different beliefs, attitudes, mutual misperceptions and a lack of understanding of different service structures. This is exacerbated by working practices relating to communication and information transfer which could impact negatively on transition, relational, informational and cross boundary continuity of care. There is also evidence of a cultural shift, with some positive approaches to collaborative working across services and agencies, involving joint posts, parallel working, shared clinics and joint meetings.
Conclusions
Cultural factors embodied in mutual misperceptions, attitudes, beliefs exist between CAMHS and AMHS. Working practices can exert either positive or negative effects on transition and continuity of care. Implementation of shared education and training, standardised approaches to record keeping and information transfer, supported by compatible IT resources are recommended, alongside management strategies which evaluate the achievement of outcomes related to transition and continuity of care.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-254
PMCID: PMC3707757  PMID: 23822089
Transition; Culture; Working practices; Care continuity; Mental health
10.  Integrated working between residential care homes and primary care: a survey of care homes in England 
BMC Geriatrics  2012;12:71.
Background
Older people living in care homes in England have complex health needs due to a range of medical conditions, mental health needs and frailty. Despite an increasing policy expectation that professionals should operate in an integrated way across organisational boundaries, there is a lack of understanding between care homes and the National Health Service (NHS) about how the two sectors should work together, meaning that residents can experience a poor "fit" between their needs, and services they can access. This paper describes a survey to establish the current extent of integrated working that exists between care homes and primary and community health and social services.
Methods
A self-completion, online questionnaire was designed by the research team. Items on the different dimensions of integration (funding, administrative, organisational, service delivery, clinical care) were included. The survey was sent to a random sample of residential care homes with more than 25 beds (n = 621) in England in 2009. Responses were analysed using quantitative and qualitative methods.
Results
The survey achieved an overall response rate of 15.8%. Most care homes (78.7%) worked with more than one general practice. Respondents indicated that a mean of 14.1 professionals/ services (other than GPs) had visited the care homes in the last six months (SD 5.11, median 14); a mean of .39 (SD.163) professionals/services per bed. The most frequent services visiting were district nursing, chiropody and community psychiatric nurses. Many (60%) managers considered that they worked with the NHS in an integrated way, including sharing documents, engaging in integrated care planning and joint learning and training. However, some care home managers cited working practices dictated by NHS methods of service delivery and priorities for care, rather than those of the care home or residents, a lack of willingness by NHS professionals to share information, and low levels of respect for the experience and knowledge of care home staff.
Conclusions
Care homes are a hub for a wide range of NHS activity, but this is ad hoc with no recognised way to support working together. Integration between care homes and local health services is only really evident at the level of individual working relationships and reflects patterns of collaborative working rather than integration. More integrated working between care homes and primary health services has the potential to improve quality of care in a cost- effective manner, but strategic decisions to create more formal arrangements are required to bring this about. Commissioners of services for older people need to capitalise on good working relationships and address idiosyncratic patterns of provision to care homes.The low response rate is indicative of the difficulty of undertaking research in care homes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-12-71
PMCID: PMC3534387  PMID: 23151009
11.  Understanding public trust in services provided by community pharmacists relative to those provided by general practitioners: a qualitative study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(3):e000939.
Objectives
To apply sociological theories to understand public trust in extended services provided by community pharmacists relative to those provided by general practitioners (GPs).
Design
Qualitative study involving focus groups with members of the public.
Setting
The West of Scotland.
Participants
26 purposively sampled members of the public were involved in one of five focus groups. The groups were composed to represent known groups of users and non-users of community pharmacy, namely mothers with young children, seniors and men.
Results
Trust was seen as being crucial in healthcare settings. Focus group discussions revealed that participants were inclined to draw unfavourable comparisons between pharmacists and GPs. Importantly, participants' trust in GPs was greater than that in pharmacists. Participants considered pharmacists to be primarily involved in medicine supply, and awareness of the pharmacist's extended role was low. Participants were often reluctant to trust pharmacists to deliver unfamiliar services, particularly those perceived to be ‘high risk’. Numerous system-based factors were identified, which reinforce patient trust and confidence in GPs, including GP registration and appointment systems, GPs' expert/gatekeeper role and practice environments. Our data indicate that the nature and context of public interactions with GPs fostered familiarity with a specific GP or practice, which allowed interpersonal trust to develop. By contrast, participants' exposure to community pharmacists was limited. Additionally, a good understanding of the GPs' level of training and role promoted confidence.
Conclusion
Current UK initiatives, which aim to implement a range of pharmacist-led services, are undermined by lack of public trust. It seems improbable that the public will trust pharmacists to deliver unfamiliar services, which are perceived to be ‘high risk’, unless health systems change in a way that promotes trust in pharmacists. This may be achieved by increasing the quality and quantity of patient interactions with pharmacists and gaining GP support for extended pharmacy services.
Article summary
Article focus
Why do the public access GPs for services, which are also available in community pharmacies?
What sort of services do the public trust community pharmacists to deliver?
What factors underpin greater public trust in GP services relative to community pharmacy services?
Key messages
Public trust in GPs was greater than that in pharmacists; many were reluctant to trust pharmacists to deliver unfamiliar ‘high-risk’ services.
Numerous system-based factors reinforce public trust and confidence in GPs, including GP registration and appointment systems, GPs' expert/gatekeeper role and practice environments.
This study suggests that increasing the quality and quantity of patient interactions with pharmacists and gaining GP support for extended pharmacy services could build public trust.
Strengths and limitations of this study
This is the first study to apply sociological perspectives of trust to understand public perspectives of community pharmacy.
The qualitative approach has allowed us to gather in-depth information in an under-researched area.
The study methodology limits generalisation, although theme saturation was achieved and the context of the study is explicitly defined.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-000939
PMCID: PMC3358628  PMID: 22586286
12.  Monitoring the level of government trust, risk perception and intention of the general public to adopt protective measures during the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic in the Netherlands 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:575.
Background
During the course of an influenza pandemic, governments know relatively little about the possibly changing influence of government trust, risk perception, and receipt of information on the public's intention to adopt protective measures or on the acceptance of vaccination. This study aims to identify and describe possible changes in and factors associated with public's intentions during the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic in the Netherlands.
Methods
Sixteen cross-sectional telephone surveys were conducted (N = 8060) between April - November 2009. From these repeated measurements three consecutive periods were categorized based on crucial events during the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic. Time trends in government trust, risk perception, intention to adopt protective measures, and the acceptance of vaccination were analysed. Factors associated with an intention to adopt protective measures or vaccination were identified.
Results
Trust in the government was high, but decreased over time. During the course of the pandemic, perceived vulnerability and an intention to adopt protective measures increased. Trust and vulnerability were associated with an intention to adopt protective measures in general only during period one. Higher levels of intention to receive vaccination were associated with increased government trust, fear/worry, and perceived vulnerability. In periods two and three receipt of information was positively associated with an intention to adopt protective measures. Most respondents wanted to receive information about infection prevention from municipal health services, health care providers, and the media.
Conclusions
The Dutch response to the H1N1 virus was relatively muted. Higher levels of trust in the government, fear/worry, and perceived vulnerability were all positively related to an intention to accept vaccination. Only fear/worry was positively linked to an intention to adopt protective measures during the entire pandemic. Risk and crisis communication by the government should focus on building and maintaining trust by providing information about preventing infection in close collaboration with municipal health services, health care providers, and the media.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-575
PMCID: PMC3152536  PMID: 21771296
13.  Organisational culture and post-merger integration in an academic health centre: a mixed-methods study 
Background
Around the world, the last two decades have been characterised by an increase in the numbers of mergers between healthcare providers, including some of the most prestigious university hospitals and academic health centres. However, many mergers fail to bring the anticipated benefits, and successful post-merger integration in university hospitals and academic health centres is even harder to achieve. An increasing body of literature suggests that organisational culture affects the success of post-merger integration and academic-clinical collaboration.
Methods
This paper reports findings from a mixed-methods single-site study to examine 1) the perceptions of organisational culture in academic and clinical enterprises at one National Health Service (NHS) trust, and 2) the major cultural issues for its post-merger integration with another NHS trust and strategic partnership with a university. From the entire population of 72 clinician-scientists at one of the legacy NHS trusts, 38 (53%) completed a quantitative Competing Values Framework survey and 24 (33%) also provided qualitative responses. The survey was followed up by semi-structured interviews with six clinician-scientists and a group discussion including five senior managers.
Results
The cultures of two legacy NHS trusts differed and were primarily distinct from the culture of the academic enterprise. Major cultural issues were related to the relative size, influence, and history of the legacy NHS trusts, and the implications of these for respective identities, clinical services, and finances. Strategic partnership with a university served as an important ameliorating consideration in reaching trust merger. However, some aspects of university entrepreneurial culture are difficult to reconcile with the NHS service delivery model and may create tension.
Conclusions
There are challenges in preserving a more desirable culture at one of the legacy NHS trusts, enhancing cultures in both legacy NHS trusts during their post-merger integration, and in aligning academic and clinical cultures following strategic partnership with a university. The seeds of success may be found in current best practice, good will, and a near identical ideal of the future preferred culture. Strong, fair leadership will be required both nationally and locally for the success of mergers and post-merger integration in university hospitals and academic health centres.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12913-014-0673-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12913-014-0673-3
PMCID: PMC4308851  PMID: 25608775
Organisational culture; Competing Values Framework (CVF); Post-merger integration; University Hospital; Academic Health Centre (AHC); Academic-Clinical Collaboration; Strategic partnership; Research and innovation; Teaching; Patient care
14.  How can insulin initiation delivery in a dual-sector health system be optimised? A qualitative study on healthcare professionals’ views 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:313.
Background
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate in developing countries. However, glycaemia control remains suboptimal and insulin use is low. One important barrier is the lack of an efficient and effective insulin initiation delivery approach. This study aimed to document the strategies used and proposed by healthcare professionals to improve insulin initiation in the Malaysian dual-sector (public–private) health system.
Methods
In depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted in Klang Valley and Seremban, Malaysia in 2010–11. Healthcare professionals consisting of general practitioners (n = 11), medical officers (n = 8), diabetes educators (n = 3), government policy makers (n = 4), family medicine specialists (n = 10) and endocrinologists (n = 2) were interviewed. We used a topic guide to facilitate the interviews, which were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic approach.
Results
Three main themes emerged from the interviews. Firstly, there was a lack of collaboration between the private and public sectors in diabetes care. The general practitioners in the private sector proposed an integrated system for them to refer patients to the public health services for insulin initiation programmes. There could be shared care between the two sectors and this would reduce the disproportionately heavy workload at the public sector. Secondly, besides the support from the government health authority, the healthcare professionals wanted greater involvement of non-government organisations, media and pharmaceutical industry in facilitating insulin initiation in both the public and private sectors. The support included: training of healthcare professionals; developing and disseminating patient education materials; service provision by diabetes education teams; organising programmes for patients’ peer group sessions; increasing awareness and demystifying insulin via public campaigns; and subsidising glucose monitoring equipment. Finally, the healthcare professionals proposed the establishment of multidisciplinary teams as a strategy to increase the rate of insulin initiation. Having team members from different ethnic backgrounds would help to overcome language and cultural differences when communicating with patients.
Conclusion
The challenges faced by a dual-sector health system in delivering insulin initiation may be addressed by greater collaborations between the private and public sectors and governmental and non-government organisations, and among different healthcare professionals.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-313
PMCID: PMC3533841  PMID: 22545648
Insulin initiation; Dual-sector health system; Malaysia; Diabetes; Public sector; Private sector
15.  Achieving progress through clinical governance? A national study of health care managers' perceptions in the NHS in England 
Quality & safety in health care  2004;13(5):335-343.
Background: A national cross sectional study was undertaken to explore the perceptions concerning the importance of, and progress in, aspects of clinical governance among board level and directorate managers in English acute, ambulance, and mental health/learning disabilities (MH/LD) trusts.
Participants: A stratified sample of acute, ambulance, and mental health/learning disabilities trusts in England (n = 100), from each of which up to 10 board level and 10 directorate level managers were randomly sampled.
Methods: Fieldwork was undertaken between April and July 2002 using the Organisational Progress in Clinical Governance (OPCG) schedule to explore managers' perceptions of the importance of, and organisational achievement in, 54 clinical governance competency items in five aggregated domains: improving quality; managing risks; improving staff performance; corporate accountability; and leadership and collaboration. The difference between ratings of importance and achievement was termed a shortfall.
Results: Of 1916 individuals surveyed, 1177 (61.4%) responded. The competency items considered most important and recording highest perceived achievement related to corporate accountability structures and clinical risks. The highest shortfalls between perceived importance and perceived achievement were reported in joint working across local health communities, feedback of performance data, and user involvement. When aggregated into domains, greatest achievement was perceived in the assurance related areas of corporate accountability and risk management, with considerably less perceived achievement and consequently higher shortfalls in quality improvement and leadership and collaboration. Directorate level managers' perceptions of achievement were found to be significantly lower than those of their board level colleagues on all domains other than improving performance. No differences were found in perceptions of achievement between different types of trusts, or between trusts at different stages in the Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) review cycle.
Conclusions: While structures and systems for clinical governance seem well established, there is more perceived progress in areas concerned with quality assurance than quality improvement. This study raises some uncomfortable questions about the impact of CHI review visits.
doi:10.1136/qshc.2002.005108
PMCID: PMC1743892  PMID: 15465936
16.  Variation in local trust Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) policies: a review of 48 English healthcare trusts 
BMJ Open  2015;5(1):e006517.
Objectives
To explore Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) policies from English acute, community and ambulance service Trusts for evidence of consistency and variation in implementation of national guidelines between healthcare organisations.
Setting
Acute, community or ambulance National Health Service (NHS) Trusts in England.
Participants
48 NHS Trusts.
Interventions
Freedom of information requests for adult DNACPR policies were sent to a random sample of Trusts.
Outcomes
DNACPR policies were assessed on aspects identified from national guidelines including documentation, ethical and legal issues, decision-makers and involvement of others in DNACPR decisions as well as practical considerations such as validity, review and portability of decisions.
Results
Policies from 26 acute, 12 community and 10 ambulance service Trusts were reviewed. There was variation in terminology used (85% described documents as policies, 6% procedures and 8% guidelines). Only one quarter of Trusts used the recommended Resuscitation Council (UK) record form (or a modification of the form). There was variation in the terminology used which included DNAR, DNACPR, Not for CPR and AND (allow natural death). Accountability for DNACPR decisions rested with consultants at all acute Trusts and the most senior clinician at community Trusts. Most Trusts (74%) recommended discussion of decisions with a multidisciplinary team. Compliance with guidance requiring clinical staff to assess the patient for capacity and when to consult a lasting power of attorney or independent mental capacity advocate occurred less commonly. There was wide variation in the duration of time over which a DNACPR decision was considered valid as well as in the Trusts’ approach to reviewing DNACPR decisions. The level of portability of DNACPR decisions between healthcare organisations was one of the greatest sources of variation.
Conclusions
There is significant variation in the translation of the national DNACPR guidelines into English healthcare Trusts’ DNACPR policies.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006517
PMCID: PMC4298091  PMID: 25586369
INTERNAL MEDICINE; MEDICAL ETHICS; PALLIATIVE CARE
17.  Bridges, brokers and boundary spanners in collaborative networks: a systematic review 
Background
Bridges, brokers and boundary spanners facilitate transactions and the flow of information between people or groups who either have no physical or cognitive access to one another, or alternatively, who have no basis on which to trust each other. The health care sector is a context that is rich in isolated clusters, such as silos and professional “tribes,” in need of connectivity. It is a key challenge in health service management to understand, analyse and exploit the role of key agents who have the capacity to connect disparate groupings in larger systems.
Methods
The empirical, peer reviewed, network theory literature on brokerage roles was reviewed for the years 1994 to 2011 following PRISMA guidelines.
Results
The 24 articles that made up the final literature set were from a wide range of settings and contexts not just healthcare. Methods of data collection, analysis, and the ways in which brokers were identified varied greatly. We found four main themes addressed in the literature: identifying brokers and brokerage opportunities, generation and integration of innovation, knowledge brokerage, and trust. The benefits as well as the costs of brokerage roles were examined.
Conclusions
Collaborative networks by definition, seek to bring disparate groups together so that they can work effectively and synergistically together. Brokers can support the controlled transfer of specialised knowledge between groups, increase cooperation by liaising with people from both sides of the gap, and improve efficiency by introducing “good ideas” from one isolated setting into another.
There are significant costs to brokerage. Densely linked networks are more efficient at diffusing information to all their members when compared to sparsely linked groups. This means that while a bridge across a structural hole allows information to reach actors that were previously isolated, it is not the most efficient way to transfer information. Brokers who become the holders of, or the gatekeepers to, specialised knowledge or resources can become overwhelmed by the role and so need support in order to function optimally.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-158
PMCID: PMC3648408  PMID: 23631517
Brokerage; Collaborative networks; Structural holes; Social network theory; Knowledge transfer
18.  Integrated care pilot programme—UK Department of Health 
Introduction
The NHS Next Stage Review set the direction for a more locally-driven NHS, with quality as its organising principle. It also highlighted the need for improved integration between health and care services, to improve access to and quality of care within local communities. This was followed, in High Quality Care for All, by a commitment to test and evaluate a range of models of integrated care that should help improve patient, carer and service user outcomes.
About the ICP
The programme of integrated care pilots (ICP) has been established to address that need. It is an exciting and innovative way of exploring the benefits that greater integration could deliver for local health and well-being.
ICP is designed to examine different ways in which health and social care could be provided to help drive improvements in local health and well-being. It allows communities to take a fresh look at how to deliver such care, based solely around the needs of the local population. The aim is to look beyond traditional boundaries (e.g. between primary and secondary care) to explore whether new, integrated models can improve health and care services.
Each pilot will be exploring a new approach to a key health issue within the local community, and seeking to deliver improvements in quality, service user satisfaction and local health and well-being. Although the pilots have designed new models for delivering care, they must also ensure that key features of the current health systems are safeguarded, e.g. choice, competition, and the role of the Primary Care Trust (PCT) as the commissioner of local health services.
The pilots will run for two years and will be evaluated over three years against a set of national and local measures. The criteria involved include impact on health outcomes, improved quality of care, service user satisfaction, and effective relationships and systems.
ICP sits alongside other programmes, such as practice-based commissioning (PBC), to inspire innovation in service development and to encourage stronger partnership between clinicians and those working in local government and social care. It is an exciting opportunity to help deliver better health, better care and better value for local populations and for taxpayers.
The pilot sites
Table 1 summarises information of each of the selected pilot organisations.
International innovations in integrated care
Alongside the work being undertaken in the pilot sites, the DH is carrying out a review of international exemplars in integrated care. The evidence from these will be used to stimulate further development within the NHS. This is supported by a learning network encouraging local, national and international co-operation and collaboration.
For further information
ICP presents a major opportunity to explore new and exciting models of developing and delivering care services for local communities. If you could like any further information about the programme, please contact the Integrated Care team at the Department of Health, on integratedcare@dh.gsi.gov.uk and http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Healthcare/IntegratedCare/DH_091112.
PMCID: PMC2807058
integrated care pilot; local health
19.  A Preliminary Mixed-Method Investigation of Trust and Hidden Signals in Medical Consultations 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90941.
Background
Several factors influence patients' trust, and trust influences the doctor-patient relationship. Recent literature has investigated the quality of the personal relationship and its dynamics by considering the role of communication and the elements that influence trust giving in the frame of general practitioner (GP) consultations.
Objective
We analysed certain aspects of the interaction between patients and GPs to understand trust formation and maintenance by focusing on communication channels. The impact of socio-demographic variables in trust relationships was also evaluated.
Method
A cross-sectional design using concurrent mixed qualitative and quantitative research methods was employed. One hundred adults were involved in a semi-structured interview composed of both qualitative and quantitative items for descriptive and exploratory purposes. The study was conducted in six community-based departments adjacent to primary care clinics in Trento, Italy.
Results
The findings revealed that patients trusted their GP to a high extent by relying on simple signals that were based on the quality of the one-to-one communication and on behavioural and relational patterns. Patients inferred the ability of their GP by adopting simple heuristics based mainly on the so-called social “honest signals” rather than on content-dependent features. Furthermore, socio-demographic variables affected trust: less literate and elderly people tended to trust more.
Conclusions
This study is unique in attempting to explore the role of simple signals in trust relationships within medical consultation: people shape trust and give meaning to their relationships through a powerful channel of communication that orbits not around words but around social relations. The findings have implications for both clinicians and researchers. For doctors, these results suggest a way of thinking about encounters with patients. For researchers, the findings underline the importance of analysing some new key factors around trust for future investigations in medical practice and education.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090941
PMCID: PMC3949702  PMID: 24618683
20.  Roles and relationships between health professionals involved in insulin initiation for people with type 2 diabetes in the general practice setting: a qualitative study drawing on relational coordination theory 
BMC Family Practice  2014;15:20.
Background
The majority of care for people with type 2 diabetes occurs in general practice, however when insulin initiation is required it often does not occur in this setting or in a timely manner and this may have implications for the development of complications. Increased insulin initiation in general practice is an important goal given the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes and a relative shortage of specialists. Coordination between primary and secondary care, and between medical and nursing personnel, may be important in achieving this. Relational coordination theory identifies key concepts that underpin effective interprofessional work: communication which is problem solving, timely, accurate and frequent and relationships between professional roles which are characterized by shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect. This study explores roles and relationships between health professionals involved in insulin initiation in order to gain an understanding of factors which may impact on this task being carried out in the general practice setting.
Method
21 general practitioners, practice nurses, diabetes nurse educators and physicians were purposively sampled to participate in a semi-structured interview. Transcripts of the interviews were analysed using framework analysis.
Results
There were four closely interlinked themes identified which impacted on how health professionals worked together to initiate people with type 2 diabetes on insulin: 1. Ambiguous roles; 2. Uncertain competency and capacity; 3. Varying relationships and communication; and 4. Developing trust and respect.
Conclusions
This study has shown that insulin initiation is generally recognised as acceptable in general practice. The role of the DNE and practice nurse in this space and improved communication and relationships between health professionals across organisations and levels of care are factors which need to be addressed to support this clinical work. Relational coordination provides a useful framework for exploring these issues.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-15-20
PMCID: PMC3909758  PMID: 24479762
Relational coordination; General practice; Insulin initiation; Type 2 diabetes; Roles
21.  “It Is Like That, We Didn't Understand Each Other”: Exploring the Influence of Patient-Provider Interactions on Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV Service Use in Rural Tanzania 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e106325.
Interactions between patients and service providers frequently influence uptake of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) HIV services in sub-Saharan Africa, but this process has not been examined in depth. This study explores how patient-provider relations influence PMTCT service use in four government facilities in Kisesa, Tanzania. Qualitative data were collected in 2012 through participatory group activities with community members (3 male, 3 female groups), in-depth interviews with 21 women who delivered recently (16 HIV-positive), 9 health providers, and observations in antenatal clinics. Data were transcribed, translated into English and analysed with NVIVO9 using an adapted theoretical model of patient-centred care. Three themes emerged: decision-making processes, trust, and features of care. There were few examples of shared decision-making, with a power imbalance in favour of providers, although they offered substantial psycho-social support. Unclear communication by providers, and patients not asking questions, resulted in missed services. Omission of pre-HIV test counselling was often noted, influencing women's ability to opt-out of HIV testing. Trust in providers was limited by confidentiality concerns, and some HIV-positive women were anxious about referrals to other facilities after establishing trust in their original provider. Good care was recounted by some women, but many (HIV-positive and negative) described disrespectful staff including discrimination of HIV-positive patients and scolding, particularly during delivery; exacerbated by lack of materials (gloves, sheets) and associated costs, which frustrated staff. Experienced or anticipated negative staff behaviour influenced adherence to subsequent PMTCT components. Findings revealed a pivotal role for patient-provider relations in PMTCT service use. Disrespectful treatment and lack of informed consent for HIV testing require urgent attention by PMTCT programme managers. Strategies should address staff behaviour, emphasizing ethical standards and communication, and empower patients to seek information about available services. Optimising provider-patient relations can improve uptake of maternal health services more broadly, and ART adherence.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0106325
PMCID: PMC4152246  PMID: 25180575
22.  Factors influencing professional decision making on unplanned hospital admission: a qualitative study 
The British Journal of General Practice  2012;62(604):e750-e756.
Background
Unplanned admissions to hospital are a challenge for healthcare systems internationally. In the UK variation in unplanned admission rates across geographical areas, general practices and GPs remains largely unexplained.
Aim
To identify factors influencing professional decision making around unplanned hospital admission.
Design and setting
Qualitative study with a purposive sample of health and social care professionals from three primary care trusts, two acute hospitals, social services and an ambulance service in the South West of England.
Method
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 professionals. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Data were analysed thematically drawing on the constant comparative method.
Results
The main factors influencing professional decision making around unplanned admissions were: lack of availability of seamless care on a 24/7 basis; ‘professional tribalism’ and poor information flow; service targets and performance management; commissioning culture and the impact of a ‘market approach’; and clinical governance structures, tolerance of risk and the role of peer support. A tension was perceived between the need to reduce unplanned admissions by tolerating more risk in primary care and a risk averse culture in secondary and emergency care.
Conclusion
Professional decision making that leads to unplanned admission to hospital is influenced by a range of organisational and individual health or social care professional factors. Finding ways to modify and ameliorate the effects of these systems and individual influences should be considered an important goal in the design of new interventions.
doi:10.3399/bjgp12X658278
PMCID: PMC3481515  PMID: 23211178
decision making; emergency care; general practice; patient admission; qualitative research
23.  Leadership of healthcare commissioning networks in England: a mixed-methods study on clinical commissioning groups 
BMJ Open  2013;3(2):e002112.
Objective
To explore the relational challenges for general practitioner (GP) leaders setting up new network-centric commissioning organisations in the recent health policy reform in England, we use innovation network theory to identify key network leadership practices that facilitate healthcare innovation.
Design
Mixed-method, multisite and case study research.
Setting
Six clinical commissioning groups and local clusters in the East of England area, covering in total 208 GPs and 1 662 000 population.
Methods
Semistructured interviews with 56 lead GPs, practice managers and staff from the local health authorities (primary care trusts, PCT) as well as various healthcare professionals; 21 observations of clinical commissioning group (CCG) board and executive meetings; electronic survey of 58 CCG board members (these included GPs, practice managers, PCT employees, nurses and patient representatives) and subsequent social network analysis.
Main outcome measures
Collaborative relationships between CCG board members and stakeholders from their healthcare network; clarifying the role of GPs as network leaders; strengths and areas for development of CCGs.
Results
Drawing upon innovation network theory provides unique insights of the CCG leaders’ activities in establishing best practices and introducing new clinical pathways. In this context we identified three network leadership roles: managing knowledge flows, managing network coherence and managing network stability. Knowledge sharing and effective collaboration among GPs enable network stability and the alignment of CCG objectives with those of the wider health system (network coherence). Even though activities varied between commissioning groups, collaborative initiatives were common. However, there was significant variation among CCGs around the level of engagement with providers, patients and local authorities. Locality (sub) groups played an important role because they linked commissioning decisions with patient needs and brought the leaders closer to frontline stakeholders.
Conclusions
With the new commissioning arrangements, the leaders should seek to move away from dyadic and transactional relationships to a network structure, thereby emphasising on the emerging relational focus of their roles. Managing knowledge mobility, healthcare network coherence and network stability are the three clinical leadership processes that CCG leaders need to consider in coordinating their network and facilitating the development of good clinical commissioning decisions, best practices and innovative services. To successfully manage these processes, CCG leaders need to leverage the relational capabilities of their network as well as their clinical expertise to establish appropriate collaborations that may improve the healthcare services in England. Lack of local GP engagement adds uncertainty to the system and increases the risk of commissioning decisions being irrelevant and inefficient from patient and provider perspectives.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002112
PMCID: PMC3586053  PMID: 23430596
Health Services Administration & Management; Qualitative Research
24.  The practice of commissioning healthcare from a private provider: learning from an in-depth case study 
BMC Health Services Research  2013;13(Suppl 1):S4.
Background
The direction of health service policy in England is for more diversification in the design, commissioning and provision of health care services. The case study which is the subject of this paper was selected specifically because of the partnering with a private sector organisation to manage whole system redesign of primary care and to support the commissioning of services for people with long term conditions at risk of unplanned hospital admissions and associated service provision activities. The case study forms part of a larger Department of Health funded project on the practice of commissioning which aims to find the best means of achieving a balance between monitoring and control on the one hand, and flexibility and innovation on the other, and to find out what modes of commissioning are most effective in different circumstances and for different services.
Methods
A single case study method was adopted to explore multiple perspectives of the complexities and uniqueness of a public-private partnership referred to as the “Livewell project”. 10 single depth interviews were carried out with key informants across the GP practices, the PCT and the private provider involved in the initiative.
Results
The main themes arising from single depth interviews with the case study participants include a particular understanding about the concept of commissioning in the context of primary care, ambitions for primary care redesign, the importance of key roles and strong relationships, issues around the adoption and spread of innovation, and the impact of the current changes to commissioning arrangements. The findings identified a close and high trust relationship between GPs (the commissioners) and the private commissioning support and provider firm. The antecedents to the contract for the project being signed indicated the importance of leveraging external contacts and influence (resource dependency theory).
Conclusions
The study has surfaced issues around innovation adoption in the healthcare context. The case identifies ‘negotiated order’, managerial performance of providers and disciplinary control as three media of power used in combination by commissioners. The case lends support for stewardship and resource dependency governance theories as explanations of the underpinning conditions for effective commissioning in certain circumstances within a quasi marketised healthcare system.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-S1-S4
PMCID: PMC3663660  PMID: 23735082
25.  Providers’ perspectives on collaboration 
Objective
Changes in models of health care are required to better meet the needs of diverse, underserved patient populations. Collaboration among providers is one way to promote accessible, comprehensive and continuous care in healthcare organizations. This paper describes the quantitative findings from two time points that examined providers’ views of collaboration among a sample of diverse personnel (e.g. clinical nurses, social workers, dental providers, mental health providers, clerical staff, medical assistants, public health staff, and administrators) within a federally qualified nurse managed health care centre in the United States.
Methods
The quantitative arm of a mixed-method study is presented in this paper. Two instruments, the Collaboration and Satisfaction About Care Decisions Scale and the University of the West of England Interprofessional Questionnaire (comprised of 4 subscales–Communication and Teamwork Scale, Interprofessional Learning Scale, Interprofessional Interaction Scale, and Interprofessional Relationships Scale) were administered to providers at baseline and three to eight months following six same discipline focus group discussions on collaboration, in order to evaluate whether participating in the focus group discussions changed providers’ views of collaboration. A summary of the focus group data which were published elsewhere is additionally summarized to help provide insight to the quantitative findings. Thirty-nine staff participated.
Results
Paired t-tests revealed that only one scale out of the five, Collaboration and Satisfaction About Care Decisions Scale (33.97 at time one and 37.45 at time two), significantly and positively changed after the focus group discussion (p=0.046). Providers’ views on collaboration ranged from positive to moderate views of collaboration; most measures revealed a non-significant improvement after the focus group discussions. Staff with some graduate school reported the greatest satisfaction with decisions for the patient, and those with high school reported the lowest satisfaction with decisions for the patient. Respondents with a graduate degree had the most positive views of interprofessional relationships, whilst those with either a high school degree or bachelor’s degree had the most negative views of interprofessional relationships. ANOVAs by professional role revealed the least positive views of collaboration for provider groups with lower levels of education, with upper administration reporting the most positive views on collaboration.
Conclusion
Although the discussion generated by the focus groups was expected to facilitate communication, and research has suggested that communication between providers facilitates collaboration, only one subscale evaluating providers’ views of collaboration positively and significantly changed after the focus group discussion. The wide range of views on collaboration suggests there are diverse perspectives on collaboration among the staff based on professional roles and levels of education, with upper administration and those with higher levels of education reporting the most positive views of collaboration and staff with lower levels of education reporting more negative views of collaboration. A major limitation of this study was a low time two return among support staff, comprised of primarily African American women. Due to their marginalized professional and racial status, future research needs to explore the perspectives of this important and often overlooked group of staff.
PMCID: PMC3564422  PMID: 23390411
collaborative care; hierarchy; health disparities

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