An evaluation of a combined education and multi-project practice development programme in mental health

Authors

  • M. CHAMBERS rn bed (hons) dphil dn (lond),

    Corresponding author
    1. Professor and Director of Nursing, Kingston University/St Georges Medical School/South West London Mental Health Trust, London,
      M. Chambers
      Professor and Director of Nursing
      Springfield University Hospital
      61 Glenburney Road
      London SW17 7DJ, UK
      E-mail: mchamber@hscs.sghms.ac.uk
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  • S. L. CONNOR msc bsc (hons),

    1. Research Associate, School of Psychology, University of Ulster, Coleraine, and
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  • M. DAVREN msc bsc (hons) rmn

    1. Registered Family Therapist, Acting Head of Education/Senior Practice Development Fellow, Royal College of Nursing Institute, Belfast, UK
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M. Chambers
Professor and Director of Nursing
Springfield University Hospital
61 Glenburney Road
London SW17 7DJ, UK
E-mail: mchamber@hscs.sghms.ac.uk

Abstract

This paper describes a unique mental health practice development programme, which aims to integrate education, research, clinical practice and culture change, and promote collaboration between academics, researchers and healthcare practitioners to meet current government policy needs. The programme combines academic qualifications within the context of practice development and aims to produce practitioners who are dynamic leaders, capable of critical thinking, influencing culture change and challenging the nature of conventional practice. The aim of the evaluation was to give insight into participants’ experience of the programme using a qualitative approach. Open-ended questionnaires obtained participant’s views on facilitation and module content. Focus groups discovered the views and experiences of participants of the programme. The findings showed that the programme was well-received and impacted positively on both patient care and the personal and professional development of participants. The findings were used to modify the programme for the next intake of participants. The research complements the existing body of knowledge on practice development and highlights the benefits for staff, nurses and service users, and the challenges of implementation. The framework and design has the potential to be applied to other areas of practice beyond mental health.

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