This discussion paper offers a framework for those engaged in leading and supporting learning and professional development across the hospice sector. Leading learning entails a constant endeavour to stimulate the desire to learn and sustain the engagement and co-operation of those who lead learning programmes. With an increasingly diverse staff and volunteer workforce and with many of those engaged in delivering palliative and end of life care working outwith the hospice sector, new and innovative approaches are required to look at how best to support lifelong learning across palliative and end of life care. Much has been written about new models of delivery/care within the NHS – including the emergence of Accountable Care Systems. Reflective of the challenges brought about by increasing complex care environments we would suggest that a similar approach is required for learning and professional development, whereby there is locality wide co-operation and innovation to identify and meet the learning and professional development needs of the local workforce and those within partner organisations. At the hospice, we have been leading on the development of a suite of professional development activities with other hospices, NHS providers, the Local Authority and CCG. Drawing on this experience, and reflecting on the wider literature on collaboration, partnership and innovation, this paper proposes that those involved in the strategic and operational leadership of learning need to focus on five key areas:
• a focus on learning
• creating the conditions favourable to learning
• dialogue, relationships and trust
• a shared approached to leadership through structures, procedures and programmes and
• a shared sense of accountability.
This paper explores the challenges and opportunities proposed by the framework, offering insight into potentially new approaches to learning.
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