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Strengthening the nurses and health care professionals’ capacity to deliver culturally competent and compassionate care
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Aug 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This proposal comes in the wake of the intense scrutiny of nursing and other healthcare services in the UK for failures of care (Francis 2010) and the conclusions we have drawn from our literature reviews as well as from conversations between colleagues who took part in our previous European projects (IENE1-3) can be summarised as follows: 1. We know very little about how compassion is taught in the classroom, even less on how its learning is facilitated in practice, and nothing about how this is measured. 2. Although all humans have the capacity to be compassionate, how this is demonstrated and understood varies between individuals and between cultural groups. 3. Compassionate leaders make the best role models for nurses and other healthcare professionals in practice, who in their turn become compassionate role models to students. 4. Compassionate care, leads to higher levels of patient/family satisfaction. 5. Higher levels of satisfaction contribute to faster more effective healing, with higher levels of compliance and lower costs. This project aims to improve the quality of training for nurses and health care professionals in the delivery of compassionate and cultural competent care which responds to the healthcare sector needs. Specific objectives: 1. Systematically review empirical literature pertaining to universal components of compassion, as well as the measurement and practice of compassion; 2. Construct, pilot and implement a self assessment ‘compassion measuring tool’ (CMT); 3. Design new training and work based learning model, for the development of compassion skills of nurses and health care professionals based on an analysis of their needs; 4. Develop an intervention which will promote the learning, practice and support of compassion-in-practice; this will begin with the development of nursing and healthcare leaders; 5. Evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention on service providers and users; 6. Make all project tools freely available on a dedicated website; 7. Hold an international conference; 8. Establish a network of people working on ‘compassion’ projects for knowledge share and co-creation of knowledge. Institutions from seven countries will participate in this project: a) Middlesex University London, UK (co-ordinator), b) Edunet, Romania, c)Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus, d) Marmara University Pendik Research and Training Hospital, e) Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese, Italy, f) University College Lillebaelt, Denmark, g) Universitat De Valencia, Spain. The partnership is a mixture of universities, VET institutions and hospital services The project will begin with a rigorous review of the literature around culturally competent compassion (theoretical and practical learning and measuring of it). The first stage will be followed by an analysis of the learning needs of those working in leadership positions in nursing and at least two other healthcare professions. The results of stages 1 & 2 will be used to develop the Delphi studies (to design a uniquely innovative measuring tool and an European model for the development of role models to promote and support culturally competent and compassionate care). Once the outputs of the Delphi studies are finalised the curriculum for the healthcare leaders as well as the learning tools for their educational intervention will be piloted and finalised. The intervention will address the critical role of senior managers and practitioners in setting values, expectations and behaviours which promote and support culturally competent compassionate care. Another innovation of this project is the adoption of the open educational resources (OER) approach to provide new learning opportunities which will be embedded in the online training platform and will support individuals to upgrade their existing skills, knowledge and experience as well as gaining new ones. Further, the proposed knowledge exchange network will bring together healthcare professionals from across Europe and possibly beyond, in order to share good practices and co-create knowledge tools during the project’s life and after the projects ends thus assuring its sustainability and long-term impact. The results of the project will be disseminated during national/local seminars and a European conference. In the long term, we believe that healthcare practitioners and service providers across Europe will benefit through accessing the project’s OERs.This project will impact on all five points outlined in the first section of this summary..
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