Background Care transfers from hospital to home for older people with complex needs should be person-centred with effective multidisciplinary teamwork (Bolsch et al, 2005), but are a challenge nationally.
The Good to Go simulation-based training course was developed to:
draw upon shared experience and knowledge to promote best practice for safe care transfers across a range of settings
enhance discharge planning skills including effective communication, assessment and evaluation of needs and the ability to work within a multi-agency, multi-professional arena.
Method Informed by best practice review, local scoping and staff perspectives, the course design reflected a patient journey from hospital to community care, aimed at health/social care professionals with roles involving care transfers of older people.
Consisting of mixed-modality simulation activities including use of actors and the opportunity for learners to experience the challenges older people face in performing everyday tasks through wearing a suit which replicates physical constraints i.e. reduced movement, vision and hearing.
Results 49 multi-agency staff attended. Evaluation was based on Kirkpatricks (1994) model consisting of pre-course (n = 44) and post-course (n = 47) questionnaires and semi-structured interviews (n = 9) exploring perceived application and impact on practice. Aims were achieved with positive evaluation. Pre-course, 30 (68%) participants reported difficulty with transferring or receiving the care of a patient with complex needs. Post-course, 44 (91%) intended to make changes to their practice. The inter-professional learning enabled building of professional relationships and improved understanding of each others roles. Further results presented at conference.
Conclusion Equipping staff with the knowledge and skills to facilitate high quality care transfers for older people in todays challenging context, this inter-professional course strengthens team working across hospital and community settings. It could be transferred to other settings. A challenge is that staff turnover across London is high but staff could transfer learning to new organisations.
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