Multi Disciplinary Team’s Matter

Multi Disciplinary Teams Matter

Yesterday, we had the incredible opportunity to attend a conference centered around the advantages of Multi Disciplinary Teams (MDT’s) in the South Eastern Trust area.  We are passionate about the intersection of different specialties and their impact on patient care, this event was both enlightening and inspiring.

The conference kicked off with a keynote address by Robin Swann, Minister of Health.  He acknowledged how collaborative efforts among the healthcare professionals significantly enhance patient outcomes.  He emphasised that Multi Disciplinary Teams work and that the roll out of MDT teams across Northern Ireland is a priority for Dept of Health.

Multi Disciplinary Teams Matter
Multi Disciplinary Teams Matter

A stark statistic was that the Senior Mental Health Practitioners (SMHP) in Down Federation and North Down and Ards Federation undertook just over 21k mental health consultations in 2023-24.  That is 21k consultations for patients in a safe and local environment, close to their home.  67.8% of these consultations could be managed by the SMHP.  Only 6.1% required an onward referral to secondary care. 13.3% were referred to the GP and 12.7% were referred to a relevant organisation in the community & voluntary sector.

One key takeaway was the importance of communication and shared decision-making within these teams, ensuring that every perspective is considered for personalised treatment plans.

Multi Disciplinary Team's Matter


What struck us the most was the recurring theme of synergy. By pooling together expertise from various disciplines, Multi Disciplinary Teams can tackle healthcare challenges more effectively than individual practitioners. The case studies and service user experiences shared during the conference illustrated how this approach leads to holistic care, addressing not just the medical aspects but also social, emotional, and psychological dimensions of health.

As we reflect on our experience at the MDT conference, we are more convinced than ever that collaboration is the future of healthcare. By breaking down silos and fostering interdisciplinary teamwork, we can elevate the quality of care we provide to our patients.  MDT enable early intervention, ensuring that patients see that right person, in the right place at the right time.  To quote Clare-Marie Dickson, Director of Primary Care & Older People, South Eastern Trust, lets “stop paying lip service into early intervention, let’s make it happen.”

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