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Collaboration Across Professional Boundaries

A group of nine senior health academics from Norway have been on a fact-finding mission to the University of East Anglia to draw lessons in the practice of Interprofessional Education (IPE) developed by the CIPP Team in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Hosted by Dr Susanne Lindqvist and her team, the group spent a day involved in presentations and seeing first-hand how students from a variety of health professions across the Faculty were drawn together in shared learning. The Norwegian team from Oslo Unversity College, Diakonhjemmet University College and Bergen University College, all belong to a national project in Norway on "Collaboration Across Professional Boundaries" focussed on improving practice through IPE.

Leading the group, Gerd Bjørke said "Over the years, a greater intensity of particular professional specialisation has unwittingly meant that understanding and collaboration across professions has suffered somewhat. We are looking for best practice to see how we can tackle this issue in Norway. The CIPP team at UEA is an acknowledged flag-bearer for interprofessional practice and our short trip here has been extremely useful in giving us ideas about how we apply this at home." She continued, "We will definitely be copying parts of the CIPP programme and will be keeping in touch with Susanne and the team as we develop our programmes further."

Dr Susanne Lindqvist said, "We have been working hard to provide thought-leadership in interprofessional practice. Sharing these ideas will help create a climate and the will to improve collaboration and understanding across the health sector. Interprofessional Education is a key part of the Faculty's courses and it's very rewarding to be in a position where we are sharing our findings with so many people at home and abroad."

This was the second fact-finding team to have visited the CIPP team in as many months. During the previous month they had hosted Yumiko Matsui and Akemi Abe, both nursing lecturers at the Niigata University, Japan.

Norwegian Universities Look to CIPP

Academics from all over Norway have been visiting universities in Canada and the UK, including UEA, to investigate different models of Interprofessional Learning (IPL) and decide which to use as a foundation for their future IPL interventions. Two large universities in Norway have recently been merged and this is seen as a good opportunity to incorporate a suitable model of IPL into their students' curricula.

Some 1800 health and social care students from a range of different professions including pharmacy, nursing, midwifery, occupational therapy, social work and radiography will undergo the training.

Following their visits to Canada and the UK, our Norwegian colleagues are now considering using the UEA model as a foundation for their IPL interventions. Furthermore, they are looking to form a CIPP team in Oslo who will be responsible for the development, delivery and evaluation of the IPL programme.

In September 2011, Dr Susanne Lindqvist, Centre Director, was invited to "Hogskolen i Oslo og Akershus" to present the CIPP model of IPL to an audience including politicians and senior staff from universities in Oslo, Bergen and other cities in Norway.

The presentation was extremely well received and the CIPP team at UEA are looking forward to further interaction with colleagues in Norway in sharing knowledge and good practice. Photographs show Ms Trine Groenn (Norwegian Ministry of Education), Dr Lindqvist delivering her presentation, and academic colleagues from Norway.

The Centre for Interprofessional Practice is proud to be at the forefront of developing and delivering a first-class interprofessional learning model for health and social care students at the UEA and around the world.