The Role of Social Work in Cross-Professional Teamwork: Examples from an Older Peoples Team in England

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


There are numerous of challenges confronting social work with older people. In Sweden, this is scarcely discussed, which is interesting in light of the radical organisational change in 1992, when all eldercare became a municipal responsibility governed by the Social Service Act. At this point in time, a decisive change was also introduced in England. The legislative changes have had a major impact on the roles and tasks of social work with older people. The overarching aim of this paper is to discuss the role of social work in cross-professional teamwork focused on older people. A multidisciplinary older peoples team in the English Midlands, consisting of fifteen members from different professions, was followed. Theories of cross-professional teamwork and inter-professional rivalries were used. The findings demonstrated a collaborative cross-professional teamwork and the different roles were genuinely complementary and not competitive. Social work was an integrated part; thus, it seemed to have an impact on health care for older people in this context. It suggests that it might be time to move on from the excessively pessimistic view and we hope that this statement may also be valid for the situation in Sweden.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Work


  • Cross-professional, older people, social work, teamwork
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-134
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch