Team work

Issues with aspects of teamworking were highlighted in 76 out of 100 reviews. Specific points identified included:

Team identity

Factors that cause problems with teamwork include:

  • Individuals not meeting regularly or effectively as a consultant surgical team.  The result is that the team has little practical experience in using consultant surgical team meetings to develop, improve and assure the quality of a surgical service.
  • Consultants being clinically isolated from one another, and missing opportunities for working together through dual-consultant operating, ward rounds or shared clinics.
  • The absence of agreed working practices, such as those governing the handover of patients when on call. Although agreed practices may exist, they are not always followed. 

Mergers and restructures

A recurring cause of tension between group members is when new teams of consultant surgeons form after a merger or restructure, without proper management to consolidate the new team.  In the absence of suitable management support, teams can hold on to their previous sense of identity and internal divisions.  

How teamworking problems can affect care

A disunited team can cause disagreement and ill feeling between individuals in a number of ways.