Background Interdisciplinary learning is recognised as playing a pivotal role in preparing health and social care professionals in today’s complex healthcare environment. Efforts to develop and implement interdisciplinary palliative care education programmes have been scarce and fragmented. Moreover, the World Health Assembly (2014) has adopted a resolution urging all its members to implement palliative care education at specialist and generalist level. In the UK, the end of life care strategy (2008) and subsequent related reports have identified the need for workforce development to improve access and provision of palliative and end of life care.
Aim To design and implement an innovative interdisciplinary curriculum for postgraduate education in palliative care that is person-centred, efficient, accepted, and sustainable.
Methods An interdisciplinary project steering group was established to provide leadership and support, and to oversee the development of the programme. An initial draft of the programme was devised in consultation with the steering group. Three stakeholder events were held in November 2015 which indicated general appreciation and support for an interdisciplinary palliative care education programme at postgraduate level. These events provided feedback on the proposed programme learning outcomes, structure, content, and delivery. A service-user focus group was conducted in early 2016, seeking feedback on draft course content and learning outcomes.
Results Curricular components were redesigned based on feedback from all stakeholders. Openness towards interdisciplinary feedback and external engagement, coupled with flexibility and compromise enabled the development of a person-centred, efficient, accepted and sustainable interdisciplinary programme.
Conclusion The development of an interdisciplinary palliative care education programme can encounter multiple barriers; however, openness and acceptance of feedback on multiple levels while focusing on learners’ needs, to enhance care, can create a successful and feasible programme.
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