Maudsley Simulation, UK
Recent UK government reports have highlighted the importance of improving the care of individuals with mental health needs (Department of Health 2011). It is being increasingly recognised that all professions and individuals involved in care pathways are essential to securing a positive outcome and experience for patients. The training needs of Bands 1–4 staff working in mental health services have a tendency to be marginalised, even though the impact of these individuals on patient experience can be considerable.
Methods Participants were involved in a series of 8 simulated scenarios using highly trained actors simulating relevant and relatable scenarios. Each scenario involved participants acting in their actual professional capacity to respond to challenging situations involving service users, families, and work colleagues.
Course attendees who were not taking part in the scenario observed in the debrief room via video-link. The whole group was then debriefed by trained facilitators using a specific debrief model (Pendleton et al, 1984) which was designed to elicit learning around non-technical/human factors as well as allowing for technical and subject matter questions to be addressed.
An additional self-report questionnaire was administered pre- and post-course. This comprised two scales; the first assessing confidence (0–10 Likert scale) regarding communication, patient interactions, managing distress, and confidentiality; and the second assessing attitudes (1–5 Likert scale) towards individuals experiencing mental health conditions, challenging behaviour, roles and responsibilities.
Results Paired samples t-tests found statistically significant improvements to the participants’ confidence (p<0.01*) and attitudes (p<0.05*). These statistics indicate that the course has had a considerable impact on participants, resulting in increased confidence in working with service users carers and colleagues, as well as improved attitudes towards mental health and team working.
Training of this nature is likely to have a positive impact on interactions with service users, families and carers.
Department of Health (2011). No Health Without Mental Health: A Cross-Government Mental Health Outcomes Strategy for People of All Ages. Published 2 Feb 2011. Accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/213761/dh_124058.pdf
Pendleton D, Schofield T, Tate P, Havelock P. The Consultation: An Approach to Learning and Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1984.
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