The Dunhill Medical Trust has worked with Picker to publish a report that evaluates the education and training landscape for the workforce that cares for older people in the UK.

The Trust worked with Picker, a health and social care research charity that advocates person centred care for all, to create the report which comprised of a systematic review of existing research exploring the link between education and training and outcomes for older people, and range of interviews with frontline staff and stakeholders as well as engaging a Public and Patient advisory group to assist in understanding the evidence of how education and training relates to older people’s care quality.

The report found a need for tailored training, more continuing professional development, and for  more recognition and incentives for those choosing a career in health and social care for older people.

Other findings included:

  • existing research is scarce and its results are inconclusive;
  • the amount and quality of education and training seems to be varied and inconsistent across geographies and professions;
  • education and training are important but continuing professional development, access to knowledge and information and a positive and supportive culture were more so;
  • there seem to be organisational barriers in the NHS to making change, together with a perception of lack of recognition and reward for good practice.

As a result of the report, the Trust will, amongst a range of other actions, be sponsoring a new category at the annual British Medical Journal Awards which celebrates excellent team-based and person-centred care for older people. In addition to this it will be working with UK medical schools and faculties of health and social care to identify and celebrate education and training initiatives which embody the principles of excellent person-centred care and individuals who are playing their part to develop a healthcare culture which is underpinned by kindness, empathy and dignity.

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