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Multidisciplinary teamwork: the good, bad, and everything in between
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  1. J Firth-Cozens
  1. Director, Centre for Clinical Psychology, University of Northumbria at Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7AX, UK jenny.firth-cozens@unn.ac.uk

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    Teams make up the building blocks of health care and every team—from the executive to the coal face—is composed of different professionals, ideally possessing a variety of skills necessary to produce safe and effective care.1 We are constantly reminded of the value of diversity within teams, but the reality is that working together from a variety of perspectives is sometimes difficult to achieve. The paper by Jenkins et al2 in this issue of Quality in Health Care shows, for example, that, unless roles are well defined and understood, responsibility for giving different types of information to patients could easily result in overload to the patient, differences in messages, and gaps in certain areas.

    The difficulties of multidisciplinary teamwork are also apparent in differing attitudes towards the way to bring about a good outcome, and even what actually constitutes a good outcome. For example, in teams caring for patients with …

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