Background: Recent government initiatives in the UK encourage collaborative working among professionals and highlight the importance of a co-ordinated and collaborative approach in early years for families and children. There are many models of collaborative working but the evidence base for its effectiveness in early years (0-2.5 years) in a community setting in the UK is patchy. The aim of this study is to objectively evaluate the transdisciplinary model of collaborative working in this setting.
Methods: This paper describes the development of a transdisciplinary early intervention team providing services to a 0- to 2.5-year-old age group in a community setting in the UK, between 2004 and 2007. The effects on waiting times, therapy session attendance and caseload were evaluated.
Results: Statistically significant reduction in waiting times from an average 114-35.6 days for the highest priority children was demonstrated. Attendance at therapy sessions increased significantly from 49% in 2005 to 56% in 2006 and 75% 2007, despite an increasing case load from 29 in 2004 to 64 in 2008 through more efficient utilization of time and resources.
Conclusion: It is felt that this paper demonstrates, for the first time, the objective benefits to clients and fundholders/Primary Care Trust (PCT) of practical application of the theory of transdisciplinary working in a community paediatric service setting in the UK.