Transformational learning: Integrated Education for Integrated Care and Services

Gurbutt, Dawne and Milne, Paul (2019) Transformational learning: Integrated Education for Integrated Care and Services. INTED2019 Proceedings . pp. 382-389. ISSN 2340-1079

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The National Health Service in the UK is placing increased emphasis on Integrated Care and closer working relationships between services and professions. This provides both a challenge and an opportunity for universities preparing students for clinical roles as it represents a shift, supported by technology, away from traditional modes of learning and, ultimately, of practice. The creation of new medical school at the University of Central Lancashire UK facilitated an increased emphasis on Inter-professional education (IPE), driven in part by the requirements of the professional bodies. Utilising a strong activity theory pedagogy resulted in the development of a forum theatre approach to case studies using interactive learning elements and small group work across professions, the programme involved nine professional groups from four schools across the university. Sessions involved service users and actors as well as the student participants and staff from all courses. The data from evaluations from across the 7 session programme (N= 1742) indicated that students appreciated the importance of IPE whilst some found it challenging. Issues identified as challenging included lack of confidence, IPE not being examinable resulting in some students devaluing the experience, and timetable issues. However, students gained insights into the roles and skills of others, viewed health services more holistically and agreed that IPE was a useful preparation for practice. Some students developed inter-cohort relationships which extended beyond the classroom into informal learning settings. The commitment of staff to integrated learning and collaborative practice was central to the transformative elements of learning experience, leading to discussion of values and a clear patient focus. Initially arising from the development of the medical curriculum, staff ownership of IPE has resulted in a wide level of engagement across the university incorporating interdisciplinary as well as inter-professional learning and involving a broader pedagogic approach. This has resulted in the development of digital approaches to support collaboration and the development of staff interdisciplinary groups and communities of practice across the institution.

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