Embedding collective leadership to foster collaborative inter-professional working in the care of older people (Eclectic)

Recent government policy in Ireland has emphasised the importance of supporting older people to live well in their homes and communities. This would mean fewer older people will have to go to hospitals to receive health care. In order to do this it is necessary for healthcare professionals to work as a team to manage the care of older people in their communities. These teams will include different professions including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, social workers, pharmacists and dietitians. These professionals are trained to deliver specialised care to older people which is relevant to their discipline. However, many of them need some guidance and support in working together as a team to coordinate the care of their patients or clients. Collective Leadership is a new way of thinking about leadership in teams. Rather than thinking of teams as having one leader who has responsibility for all of the work of the team, Collective Leadership shares leadership roles among the team. This means that team members take on leadership roles where they have the expertise and where they want to lead on a particular team activity. Internationally, this understanding of leadership has been shown to be very effective in improving the performance of teams and is becoming more common in healthcare settings.

The aim of this project is to find out if Collective Leadership might help healthcare professionals to work together as a team to manage the care of older people in their communities. The findings from this project will describe the features of teams that work well together and will provide guidance as to how this can be achieved and sustained by all health and social care teams working with older people in their communities in Ireland.

Award Date
30 June 2019
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Deirdre O'Donnell
Host Institution
University College Dublin
Applied Partnership Awards