Shared Language (on all levels)

Shared Language (on all levels) was a conversation proposed by Louise. At first glance, it appeared that this conversation might be a familiar one, about specialist language and jargon and how it plays its part in multidisciplinary teams. It may even have started out that way.

What it turned out to be, or turned into, was a profound conversation about the necessity for the “team around the person” to be just as person-centred in relation to one another as they are (or aim to be) in relation to the patient. “Everyone’s humanity is part of the team, not just the professionals and their training”.

The conversation started by talking about domain-specific language and the challenges of moving a multi-disciplinary team “into GP-land”, whilst designing services to all be in one place, built around the person rather than sending people from pillar to post. The Protected Time for Learning that is a keystone of the Primary Care Network’s way of working was seen as precious and essential, especially to other disciplines that did not have that integral element of peer- learning, CPD and self-care embedded. Part of the Shared Language conversation became about “What brought you to the profession in the first place?”, the importance of one-to-ones with each patient, the need to take care of your own personal resources and vulnerabilities, and acknowledge this humanity, especially in the context of burnout in Health and Social Care.

“Thank you for seeing us as human beings not just healthcare professionals”.

This led to another strand in the conversation about changing culture, using a conversational model rather than solely a medical model, acknowledging the presence of hierarchy and jargon, and the kind of language expected in reports, but also the value of “gut feeling” and not just the DSM. The “signs of safety” model was seen as a positive, simple, conversational tool to identify what is working well, and what is not, whilst the words “parental capability” and “issues” got the thumbs down!

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