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Title: Transitioning to a safeguarding children clinical network during a time of major NHS reform : an exploratory study about the experiences of Designated professionals
Author: Clibbens, Kathleen M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 2481
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2016
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Background: Safeguarding children is a priority area, yet the experiences of those statutorily charged with offering strategic direction and clinical leadership in health organisations has received little research attention. This study focuses on the experiences of Designated nurses and doctors as they transition from working as an organisation’s sole expert to sharing tasks and responsibilities across many organisations as part of a countywide clinically-led Network. Method: This qualitative study used a participatory action research methodology that allowed the author – a participant Designated nurse – together with colleagues to address concerns and ensure improvements during the course of the study. Data was collected at two points: during the consultation on the Network’s form; and 12-18 months after its implementation. Results: The first data, gathered when Designates were working as sole practitioners, illustrated their isolation, difficulties in accessing knowledge and anxieties about their capacity to respond to changing demands. Further analysis demonstrated that participants’ experiences were shaped by local circumstances and the concerns raised by the newly announced NHS reforms. The second data set, gathered a year after the Network’s launch and contemporaneous with the implementation of the NHS reforms, showed that team working had addressed most of their earlier concerns. The Network had legitimised sharing tasks, combatted isolation, improved access to new knowledge, and benefitted the professionals’ authority through the reputation the Network had achieved for innovation in safeguarding. However, professionals raised concerns regarding collective responsibilities and individuals’ accountability to the team. Conclusion: The study’s inability to completely separate the effects of this change in working practice from the NHS reforms limits its generalisability. The research offers insights into whether small groups of practitioners endeavouring to deliver scarce expertise to multiple organisations would benefit from a team approach, and whether voluntary participation and shared objectives are enough to sustain such teams.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RJ101 Child Health. Child health services