In December 2009, CIPP was privileged to host the first national Student Network Meeting on behalf of the Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE). This was the first such meeting following the launch of the CAIPE Student Network in Stockholm the previous year.
More than 30 healthcare students from across the country, together with academics, met to explore ways of promoting interprofessional learning (IPL) and working (IPW) with the purpose of enhancing better and safer patient care. The programme was organised by Dr Susanne Lindqvist (CIPP Director), Professor Marilyn Hammick, Christopher Green (post-grad nursing student from Essex) and Andrew Carson-Stevens (post-grad medical student from Cardiff), all of whom are CAIPE Board members with a special responsibility to engage student members of the organisation.
Among the highpoints of the discussions during the meeting was the case study presented by Andrew Carson-Stevens, about the student led initiative "Check a box - Save a life" – a theatre safety protocol initiated by a group of students in Wales and now adopted by the World Health Organisation, which is making a real impact on policy and practice in hospitals across the globe.
Dr Susanne Lindqvist explained, "We saw today that students can have a real impact on healthcare policy and practice. But we want to do more. The CAIPE Student Network has a global vision of creating a world class interprofessional workforce by 2015 so we need to drive change by raising awareness, education and training, whilst delivering excellence and developing infrastructure. It is a big challenge as students often find it difficult to engage in voluntary activities such as this due to competing demands within their respective courses. Today's meeting certainly inspired the students involved and helped them realise what each one of them can do in order to move forwards."
Jonathan Cheah, a final year medical student at UCL Medical School, London, said: "The day was a fantastic advertisement for IPL. I headed back to London enthused for the future and believing beyond doubt the power of IPL to benefit those at the heart of healthcare – the patient."
Sandra Wolanski, Mental Health Nursing Student from Oxford Brookes University, said: "I found today's event very inspirational and encouraging. Putting delivery of patient care at the forefront of our practice, with the core being that of patient safety, is paramount in our professions and holds the key for the foundation of IPE. Today was a perfect example of how interprofessional working helps to share knowledge and skills across the fields of Health and Social Care professionals. Thanks to the UEA for organising the event."
Elizabeth Howkins, Chair of CAIPE said: "Congratulations on a fantastic conference. Although I was sadly not able to attend on the day the buzz and high level of motivation comes through from students' positive feedback of the day. IPE is strong and growing."
More information about CAIPE can be found at: www.caipe.org.uk.