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In a joint project, the GCC and the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) have explored how collaboration between healthcare professionals can improve patient outcomes and quality of care. 

GCC registrants have shared their experiences of working alongside osteopaths, GPs and other healthcare professionals to deliver patient care. Their accounts outline the benefits and challenges of collaborative working and offer their advice and best practice recommendations to clinicians to help foster relationships with other health professionals.  

Watch our video on how collaborative working can help your professional development and the care and treatment of patients.

Case studies

Healthcare professionals have shared their experiences of collaborative working with other healthcare professionals.

Regular engagement with other health professionals and especially GPs is key to building relationships and encouraging collaborative working.

“It’s in the best interests of the patient as well as chiropractors and osteopaths to build personal relationships with GPs and other healthcare networks. A proactive approach is needed and communication has to be the starting point.”  

Jonathan Field, a chiropractor who runs Back Active, a multi-disciplinary practice. 


Read Jonathan’s story here 

The specialist knowledge and advice from other health professionals can really make a difference in progressing a patient’s treatment.

“It’s important to appreciate the expertise of other health professionals. I understand the strengths of the osteopaths that I work with and they understand my strengths as a chiropractor. If we work together and combine our expertise we can more effectively meet the needs of the patient.” 

Dominic Cheetham, a chiropractor with over 30 years’ experience. 

Read Dominic’s story here 

Some health professionals don’t truly understand how chiropractic or osteopathic treatment can help patients, which can have an impact on collaborative working.   

“There is still a lack of understanding amongst a small number of GPs about the work of chiropractors. As a result, it is common for GPs to refer patients to a physiotherapist. Whilst this is the right solution for some patients, for others it would be more beneficial to be referred to a chiropractor or osteopath.” 

Louise Hampton, chiropractor and owner of Attend2Health, a multi-disciplinary practice. 

Read Louise's story here 

GPs and other health professionals will often work with clinicians that they know and trust to provide good quality patient care. 

 “A patient was recently referred by their GP to neurology on the basis of a referral letter from my practice. They didn’t need to wait for a GP appointment in order to progress a diagnosis. At a time when many GPs are only seeing urgent cases the level of trust and confidence between chiropractor and GP can benefit a patient enormously.” 


Eugene Pearce, a chiropractor based in Inverness whose practice, Highland Chiropractic Clinic, offers a multi-disciplinary approach. 

Read Eugene's story here 

Learn about their areas of expertise and in return, making sure they are aware of your strengths and those of your practice. Find out how the NHS pathways work in your local area. These can change so it is important to be a part of it, if possible.  

“There are times when we recognise that our team doesn’t have the specific skill set to help a patient. On these occasions, we look outside of the practice and make a referral to the clinician who, in our opinion, has the specialist expertise, for example, a consultant surgeon. We would always inform the patient’s GP of our recommendation. It is our responsibility as health professionals to have a good understanding of who is working in our affiliated space and to know their strengths too.” 

Dominic Cheetham, a chiropractor with over 30 years’ experience. 

Read more about experiences of collaborative working.

Part two: Communication


Good communication underpins all aspects of professionalism and is critical to building professional relationships with colleagues, patients and other healthcare professionals.

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To deliver a high standard of patient care all healthcare professionals must demonstrate a high level of competence in their specific roles.

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Managers and leaders must lead by example, demonstrating a professional approach through their own values, attitude and behaviours. 

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Patient-centred care

Patient-centred care puts the patient at the very centre of their treatment.

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Reflection is critical to maintaining professional practice and enhancing patient care.

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