Double our productivity; our approach to joint work

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Double our productivity; our approach to joint work

In public health, we often work in partnership with statutory and non-statutory organizations, developing the relationships necessary to carry out public health projects for the benefit of local communities. How many times have we collaborated with colleagues where the relationship is informal, not prescribed and not expected?

In April 2020, the national spotlight was on acute physical health care and there was a frenzied attempt to increase the supply of acute care beds and ventilators. Those of us who work on Community Trusts have seen our services overshadowed and many have been discontinued altogether; but there was discomfort with impending problems on the horizon. What would be the impact on community rehabilitation services? What would be the mental health consequences of the pandemic? Could our community palliative care services do it?

It was reassuring to network with other public health colleagues who had similar concerns. Connected by the national network for public health professionals working in providers (facilitated by PHE), we have joined forces and worked as one team on this topic of mutual interest. One of the challenges for public health specialists in trust providers is that we often work alone and have no colleagues on a team, such as in local authorities. Becoming a virtual team (consultants, StRs) doubled the number of people working on the project and allowed us to divide reading and writing articles, as well as giving us more brains to think about the implications and criticize what we were reading and thinking. . We barely knew each other, but our training in a common and shared language of public health allowed us to work together in an effective and fun way!

So even before the term Long Covid was coined and mental health issues were profiled nationwide, we had joined forces and initiated needs assessments and were preparing documents for our local integrated care systems. We were also able to submit articles for publication.

Additionally, we have continued regular troubleshooting meetings and act as a virtual department separated by a dashed line of a few hundred miles. Freed from formal and standard ways of working – under the radar – our organizations gain a wider range of public health skills than they pay for!

Jane Beenstock
Public Health Consultant

Doctor Zafar Iqbal
Associate Health Director of Public Health
President, FPH Pakistan MR

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