Case Study: Working with two teams at a time of change by Caroline Timothy

What did you do? I work with Warrington Public Health and Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).  The two teams that I work with have recently both changed and I followed them during the transition. Warrington Public Health, similar to other Public Health teams in the country, moved from the NHS to the local authority. The physical move was in October 2012 and the actual move from the NHS to Warrington Borough Council was in April 2013. Warrington CCG has been acting as a CCG for over a year now, but they too went through large changes in April 2013 and also moved offices in June of this year!

What worked? There are champions of the service within the Public Health team and at the CCG and this helps when I am promoting the service. I have been flexible and volunteered to do work outside of traditional library work and this has helped the teams during what has been a very busy and demanding time of change. I have conducted literature searches supplying a lot of information to help with service development and there have been many requests asking about transition, integration and best practice at other CCG or Public Health teams. Being friendly and approachable is a big part of the role and also being willing to ‘muck in’ with whatever is going on, from helping with stalls at the CCG Marketplace event to taking part in fun days and promoting Change4Life.It is important to link any requests for information that are made by people in the two different teams to connect work that both Public Health and the CCG might be working on and to create awareness that they are both working on the same area.

What didn’t work?/Challenges Being part of the two teams brings many rewards and benefits, but it is difficult at times to work in two areas. As other people have mentioned on the Clinical Librarian Blog, good time management skills are essential.It is often necessary to switch off from one area of work on the day that you are with the other team to give that team your undivided attention and this can be hard at times. Unsurprisingly, there have been some IT challenges too! Not long after Public Health moved to the local authority, it became impossible to access any sites with “nhs.uk” in the address line. As you can imagine it was very difficult to do any work at this time! Good communication between the Public Health team and the IT team in the Council soon resolved these issues though and it is a real bonus being able to access social networking sites like Twitter on the days that I work at the Council building with Public Health as you cannot always access these sites from the CCG or from the Trust.

What did you learn? The main thing that I have learnt in this post is that what works with one of the teams might not necessarily be suitable for the other team.Something that is popular with Public Health might have to be repackaged for the CCG team and sent in a different format and vice versa. I have also learnt that it is important to speak to people face to face and maintain a presence in each office as much as is feasibly possible and not to rely on sending emails or thinking that people will visit the library at the Trust. They rely on the person in this post to provide their full library service, whether it is providing literature search results or current awareness, handing them a book or sending them a journal article.

What are your “next steps”? Now that both teams have settled into their new ways of working and their new homes, I would like to increase the amount of training that I do as at the moment this is the one area of the service that is not requested very often. I also hope to attend more meetings with the two teams so that I can see the topics that will be of interest to them in the near future.

Caroline Timothy
Public Health & Commissioning Librarian
Warrington Public Health and Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group
Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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