Lupton, Carol, North, Nancy and Khan, Parves
Working Together or Pulling Apart? The NHS and Child Protection Networks,
Bristol, UK, The Policy Press, 219pp.
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This is an interesting and important book. It has two parallel themes – child protection, and interagency and inter-professional relationships – both of which are examined in a sophisticated manner. In doing so, Working Together or Pulling Apart? constitutes an illuminating case study of the enduring 'policy-implementation gap'. The book is said to be about the role of the National Health Service (NHS), and the contribution of its staff (both managers and professionals) to collaborative work at both central (policy development) and local (policy implementation) levels. Fortunately, the remit also extends to non-NHS staff, especially those working in social care, so the wider picture of partnerships is maintained.
However, this is not simply a descriptive account of such relationships – this is available elsewhere, not least in work undertaken by these authors, and is referred to extensively throughout the book. What is also undertaken is an attempt to explain why collaboration – or partnership as we are now doomed to term it – has been so elusive. In doing so, the authors take the relatively unusual step of drawing upon inter-organisational theory, and it is this which marks out Working Together or Pulling Apart? as distinctive from most other texts on either child protection or partnership working.
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