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Simulating complexity: providing undergraduate students with exposure in early clinical training to the multidisciplinary management of frail older people
  1. Jessica Hardisty1,
  2. Helen O’Neil2,
  3. Janice O’Connell3,
  4. Rebecca Hancock3,
  5. Rachael Lucas3,
  6. Lindsay Parkin1
  1. 1Sunderland Pharmacy School, University of Sunderland, Sunderland, UK
  2. 2Pharmacy Department, City Hospitals Sunderland, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, UK
  3. 3School of Medical Education, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jessica Hardisty, University of Sunderland, Sunderland SR1 3SD, UK; jessica.hardisty{at}sunderland.ac.uk

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This project aims to translate the clinical experience of the multidisciplinary frailty team into a classroom-based teaching session for undergraduate healthcare students. Teaching sessions were developed, which employed the pedagogical techniques of interprofessional education and simulation to replicate the complexities of managing frail older people in clinical practice.

The implications of changing patient cohorts, in particular the rising number of frail older people with multiple comorbidities and resultant polypharmacy, for the undergraduate and postgraduate training of healthcare professionals have stimulated substantial debate.1 2 City Hospitals Sunderland (CHS) has been at the vanguard of developing a service to improve the management of frail older people in an acute setting and was an early adopter of the Frailsafe project, which aims to improve the reliability of the care of this patient group and reduce the length of hospital stays and readmission rates.3 Multidisciplinary frailty teams composed of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and allied healthcare professionals use the Frailsafe checklist4 to ensure full implementation of the existing evidence base when caring for older people in order to reduce the risk of adverse outcomes including pressure ulceration, infection, confusion and venous thromboembolism.

As part of the ongoing development of both the medical and pharmacy undergraduate curricula, there was a desire to provide students with an opportunity to learn about the multidisciplinary management of frail older people in a way that simulates the complexities both of the …

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