Knowledge sharing – multidisciplinary teams

5 November 2021

In our latest knowledge sharing webinar, we looked at Digital Service Standard 7 – ‘Have a multidisciplinary team’.

Session overview

We were joined by Dragos Leonte from Digital Scotland, Lesley Jones from the Welsh Nursing Care Record and Fran Beadle from Digital Health and Care Wales. The panel highlighted how they have worked as part of multidisciplinary teams and what they’ve learnt as part of this process. Ann Kempster from the Centre for Digital Public Services (CDPS) finished the presentation by outlining how they are supporting organisations in developing the skills needed to form multidisciplinary teams.

Dragos focused on the practical elements of building and described how he uses the Team Onion model when approaching projects. The Team Onion model is a way of structuring a project team and enables a multidisciplinary team it to invite people in as and when needed so there are less silos. It is made up of 3 categories; the core, collaborators and supporters and emphasises the need to bring in the right people and skills at each stage of a project.

Diagram of the Agile team onion. Three concentric circles: core centre, collaborators middle, supporters outside circle. Image courtesy of Emily Webber, author of the Agile Team Onion.
The ‘Agile’ team onion

He gave us an insight into how this approach worked to develop a cloud-based migration system for public sector organisations in Scotland.

When asked his advice for teams that are new to this way of working, he said: “Agile needs to be applied to an organisation with compromise, it may not be ideal to use pure agile. We have to make it work for the teams we are in. We are following the principles but not sticking to the Agile Manifesto.”

Lesley and Fran then gave us an overview of how they worked as part of a multidisciplinary team to digitise Welsh nursing care records. From the outset, the needs of patients and nurses who would be using the system were at the forefront.

The multidisciplinary team identified the priorities, goals and timeframes. By involving the nurses from the very beginning they have designed a system which is easy to use, clear and saves time when working within a hospital environment. The positive impact of this new digitised system was captured in one of our recent blogs.

Ann Kempster was our final speaker. She told us how the CDPS is establishing multidisciplinary teams in each of the projects they are working on, including with Sport Wales, Natural Resources Wales and the accessing adult social care project. She also described how their training and communities of practice will support the culture shift needed to work in this way.

All panel members agreed that collaboration and being flexible in your approach is key to successful multidisciplinary team working.

Discussions and questions

In the discussion that followed we covered a wide range of topics including:

If you were unable to attend the webinar, but would like to hear the conversation you can access the recording here: 

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