Research Output

Partnership working and improved service delivery: views of staff providing sexual health services

  Objectives Successful partnership working has theoretically been linked to improvements in service delivery and is dependent on the strength of the partnership, trust, communication, professional roles and resource sharing. Empirical evidence to confirm the relationships between these factors and improved service provision, however, is lacking. Our aim was to assess the views of staff as to the conditions required for partnership working.

Methods This study was a cross-sectional survey of 687 staff offering sexual health education, information or support to young people in the Healthy Respect intervention area in Scotland. Views of each variable were scored and structural equation modelling was used to assess the theoretical model.

Results Responses were received from 284 (41%) staff. Greater strength of partnership was directly associated with increasing the number of referrals. Establishing professional roles between organizations was also associated with increasing the number of referrals. Strength of partnership was indirectly associated with working more effectively with young people and this relationship depended on clear communication, trust, established professional roles and shared resources. Effective partnership working depends on a number of interdependent relationships between organizations, which act synergistically to improve organizational outcomes.

Conclusions Effective partnership working leads to improved service delivery though there is a need for better controlled studies which demonstrate the effect on health outcomes.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    31 July 2013

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Royal Society of Medicine

  • DOI:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    362 Social welfare problems & services


Pow, J. S., Elliott, L., Raeside, R., Themessl-Huber, M., & Claveirole, A. (2013). Partnership working and improved service delivery: views of staff providing sexual health services. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 18, 132-137.



Sexual health services; Sex education; partnership working;

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