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Acute and multidisciplinary working

A joint policy statement with the Royal College of Physicians

23 October 2006
This joint policy statement by the RCN and the Royal College of Physicians (London) sets out principles around team working in the acute medical setting.

The Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Physicians are committed to the promotion of collaborative working between nurses and doctors. The benefits generated by this position will be of mutual advantage to both patients and health care professionals. We make the following recommendations for doctors and nurses in an acute medical setting;

  • Effective team working between doctors, nurses, patients and their carers as the best methods to ensure high quality patient care
  • Teams must foster clear understanding of the contribution, responsibilities and accountabilities of individual team members to maximise their impact
  • Teams must provide patients with identified leaders for their care
  • Excellent communication is vital for effective team working and must include time set aside for doctors and nurses to discuss management of patient care, the care environment, joint care protocols and clear arrangements for timed hand over of clinical care
  • Seamless continuity of care for patients recognising that the care will be delivered by many individuals and therefore continuity of information is paramount
  • A clear focus on the needs of the patient in a well-managed care environment that maintains patient safety, dignity and respect.

If you have any comments or wish to contribute further, please email policy.international@rcn.org.uk