UEA leads the way in developing the future workforce for the NHS UEA leads the way in developing the future workforce for the NHS

In order to address the issues of both capacity and quality in practice education, many local services across England are exploring innovative ways of coaching and supporting student nurses in practice. One such alternative approach to the provision of traditional one-to-one mentorship is the Collaborative Learning in Practice model, which has been piloted by HEEoE.

An extract from the ‘Shape of Caring: A Review of the Future Education and Training of Registered Nurses and Care Assistants’ (March 2015)

Lord Wills recommends collaborative learning in practice to be introduced nationally.

Academics from the School of Health Sciences have developed an innovative approach to nursing education with the aim to improve the quality of the learning environment and increase placement capacity.

As one of the leading schools of Health in the UK, the school's reputation for delivering innovative and excellence in health education, alongside its’ international status for research made it well placed to be able to respond to key issues raised in a number of reports in relation to nursing, (such as the first Independent Inquiry of The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (Francis 2010); Quality with Compassion: the future of nursing education, 2012).

Mrs Charlene Lobo, Senior lecturer and Academic Lead for Practice Education, led a team of academics and researchers from the UEA who worked with the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam where the model had already been trialled to initiate a pilot project to develop and trial a new model of practice learning.

Pilot Study

The School of Health Sciences in partnership with Health Education East of England and our practice partners including Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, James Paget University Hospital, East Coast Community Healthcare, Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust have run a pilot study since May 2014, (due to end in 2015). The pilot study will be formally evaluated by Professor Antony Arthur, Professor of Nursing Science at UEA.  Early feedback suggests very positive findings from practitioners, students and patients alike – as well as being praised by Lord Willis of Knaresborough, who has led an earlier review commissioned by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) on the future of nurse education.

The long-awaited ‘Shape of Caring’ review (March 2015), led by Lord Willis, has now been released and the UEA’s CLiP model has been included as one of the key recommendations of the report, which states that the “NMC should review its current mentorship model and standards, informed by the outcome of the RCN review and final evaluation of the CLiP model, and amend the standards relating to the requirement for one-to-one mentor support.”

New Practice Model

CLiP introduces a new model of practice learning to the UK. There are two main differences from the existing mentorship model. The first difference involves a change in the philosophical approach to practice learning where mentorship is strongly underpinned by a coaching philosophy. The second main difference is the organisation of the practice learning environment. In this model students learn very much by ‘doing’, working with each other and closely supervised by a ‘coach’. Students are assigned a limited number of people to care for and are supported to take responsibility for the care they plan and deliver. This way of collaborative learning ensures coaches have time to teach and students have time to learn.

The Shape of Caring review (March 2015) has recommended that CLiP should be rolled out nationally as part of a number of measures to ensure a high-quality learning environment for pre-registration nurses.

Professor Val Lattimer comments, "The UEA's CLiP project has the potential to increase both the quality of learning in practice and the capacity to support students. Our purpose as a school is to tackle some of the most pressing health challenges and to prepare our students for the real world of health care. We are grateful to our partner Trusts who have helped roll out this pilot scheme across a wide range of settings, and are delighted that in “The Shape of Caring Review” Lord Willis has recommended that the evaluation findings of the Collaborative Learning in Practice project should inform future thinking about learning in practice."

Read more about the report.