Project ECHO is a case based, collaborative learning tool designed to enable health and social care professionals to connect with each other. Originating in the USA and taking place primarily on the Zoom platform; it aims to allow staff to share their knowledge and skills with each other to form a community of practice. The key ethos of everyone being both a learner and a teacher enables staff to benefit from a collective learning experience and reduce any isolation that they may feel in their role.
Since January 2020, St Catherine’s and St Leonard’s Hospices have formed a collaborative Project ECHO hub, through NHS England funding secured by the Humber Coast and Vale STP. The hospices and key stakeholders work closely to deliver education to the regional health and social care communities.
Outputs address identified need across the region. Work with local CCGs in spring/summer 2020 supported the care provider community with regular forums and education, which was a key part of the sector wide response to COVID- 19. This set the tone for ongoing forums that are run to support this community of staff. One care home manager commented: ‘I have really enjoyed being a part of this network and I have learned a lot. It certainly helped me think through numerous (COVID-19) policies and helped us navigate a way through’.
Session evaluations are overwhelmingly positive and over 90% of participants say that: the session helped me feel more connected with other care staff; I would recommend Project ECHO to my colleagues.
Current work with key stakeholders is delivery of ECHO networks to the palliative care, homeless/complex care support and primary care communities in North Yorkshire. With new Networks in the pipeline continually, the possibilities for our hospices to deliver training via Project ECHO are huge.
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