Innovative AHP teaching initiative highlighted as an example of best practice by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).
A new and innovative teaching initiative developed in the Faculty of Health at the University of East Anglia is being highlighted as an example of best practice by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).
The new approach, developed by academics in Physiotherapy
and Occupational Therapy
in the School of Allied Health Professions, is a departure from the conventional approach to the students’ final year on their respective courses. The new approach will give students the opportunity to focus on the application and delivery of their new skills in the context of government priorities and the wider public health agenda. The academics who designed the new approach were Mick Collins and Kelly Walker, with support from Jill Jepson, Course Director for Occupational Therapy and Jon Larner, Course Director for Physiotherapy.
Jon Larner said,”We are delighted that the CSP is using our third year professional practice module as an example of good practice. Previously, we followed a tradition teaching pattern in the final year where students on both courses would focus separately and entirely on special skills in their particular role. But we wanted to change that to give physiotherapy and OT students a much more realistic understanding of how health provision is delivered in 'the real world’.“ He continued, ”In the first half of the year they now work at their special skills, then in the second half we bring physiotherapists and OTs together to look at how these special skills are best applied when set against priorities adopted by the NHS from Lord Darzi’s report. These priorities are about prevention, equal access to services, localising and outcomes and measurement.”
Christine Bithell, who is leading the review of the CSP’s Curriculum Framework for Qualifying Programmes said, “We are looking at a number of examples of innovative work and were very impressed with the initiative at the UEA. Clearly the idea is in its infancy, but it’s an initiative which I think is likely to help students settle in to the health service more quickly and add value more speedily, because they have a greater understanding about the health provision and practical application of their skills.”
Hannah Coleman, a 3rd Year OT student said, “The third year of the course at UEA has equipped me with knowledge and insight about contextual issues affecting healthcare delivery, broadening my understanding of factors and legislation that affect healthcare professionals and patients. I feel the units studied have given me the knowledge, skills and attitudes to go out in the modern NHS with the awareness and competence to practice as a confident Occupational Therapist”
Academics in the School of Allied Health Professions will evaluate the success of the curriculum change in the coming months but feedback from students is already extremely positive.
(Pictured, left to right, are Jill Jepson, Mick Collins and Kelly Walker)