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Challenges and benefits in implementing shared inter-agency assessment across the UK : a literature review

Miller, Emma and Cameron, Kirsteen (2011) Challenges and benefits in implementing shared inter-agency assessment across the UK : a literature review. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 25 (1). pp. 39-45.

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Abstract

Over the past 10 years, each of the four countries in the UK has attempted to resolve continuing difficulties with duplication of assessment and lack of shared information in community care, by developing approaches to shared assessment. Relevant literature reviews have previously focused on challenges to partnership working between health and social care, and on different approaches to assessment. The literature review described here differs in three key respects. Firstly, the literature was selected on the basis that it addressed shared assessment specifically. Secondly, it included evidence from the four countries within the UK, providing a cross-national basis to the evidence. Thirdly, this study was undertaken to identify whether benefits from shared assessment were evident, in addition to the challenges. While the evidence of benefits at this stage is relatively limited, it is clear that some have emerged, including two relating directly to relevant policy objectives: improved communication, service user and carer involvement; improved partnership and joined up working. As approaches to shared assessment are currently under review in Scotland, England and Wales, and implementation underway in Northern Ireland, and in light of the economic recession and demographic challenges, consideration of key aspects of the evidence may be timely.