Academy of Medical Royal Colleges - Joint Professions' Statement

Posted 16 October 2017

Date: 16 Oct 2017

Type: Sexual and Reproductive Health News

Royal Colleges and professional organisations representing the range of clinicians across primary and secondary care have come together and issued a statement regarding the importance of multi-professional teams.

Royal Colleges and professional organisations representing the range of clinicians across primary and secondary care have come together in the interests of the quality and standards of patient care and the professional skills and development of their members to:

  • Affirm our joint commitment to the importance of multi-professional team working to deliver better outcomes for patients
  • Identify key issues which need to be addressed to enable clinicians to work to their full potential and practice at the top of their licence to deliver the highest quality healthcare at a time when the NHS is under unprecedented financial and workload pressures
  • Jointly commit to work together and with employers, educators and government to deliver real improvement in services to patients and the work experience of professional clinical staff.

The value of multi-professional work

Evidence consistently shows that multi-professional team working delivers better outcomes for patients and more effective and satisfying work for clinicians. Multi-professional work requires flexibility in attitude and behaviour and for professionals to value and respect the distinct contribution each
professional makes.

It does not however mean all professionals aspire to undertake an alternative professional role. Most clinicians value their professional identity and can be proud of contribution they make within their roles. As professional bodies, we are committed to ensuring that our members’ professional identity and expertise acts to maximise the impact of the team in the delivery of patient centred care and not as a silo or barrier to good care and professional development. Building a 'joyful team' leads to good work and better care.

Key issues

We have identified the following key issues on which clinicians, professional bodies, employers and government must work together to support better care and better work for staff:

  • Recruitment and retention
    Across the clinical professions there are substantial staff shortages that need to be addressed. However, the professional bodies also believe it is equally essential that greater effort is put into retaining current clinical staff in their jobs. Efforts to train or recruit new staff will not be worthwhile if the NHS is unable to retain the current workforce.
  • New solutions for delivering healthcare
    Professional organisations recognise that new solutions are required to deliver healthcare to meet the changing needs of the population. This will need new ways of working, new roles and new behaviours and potentially changing the regulation of professionals. While these changes may be challenging and must be approached sensitively, professionals will buy into them if they see benefits to patients rather than a perceived diminution of their roles.

  • Professional development/career pathways
    New ways of working and delivering healthcare requires employers to ensure that clinicians have the professional development they need to adapt to changing circumstances. Clinicians need to see there are appropriate career pathways open to them to enable them to expand their contribution to healthcare and their personal job satisfaction.

  • Valuing staff
    Whilst still normally appreciated by patients, many healthcare staff currently feel undervalued in their work. It is crucial that clinical and other staff do feel properly valued and rewarded if they are to be as effective as they could be. This is a responsibility of Government, employers and colleagues.

We have also committed to work together as professional bodies on specific initiatives around professional regulation, workforce development and patient quality of life.

Agreement is signed on behalf of the following organisations:

  • Academy of Healthcare Science
  • Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
  • British Association of Art Therapists
  • British Dental Association
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
  • College of Operating Department Practitioners
  • College of Optometrists
  • Queen's Nursing Institute
  • Royal College of midwives
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society
  • Society of Radiographers

Download the full statement below.