Interprofessional Education

IPE is a strand that runs throughout the education of students studying medicine, nursing, midwifery, pharmacy, physiotherapy, social work, biomedical science and operating department practice.

IPE 1 In light of the outcomes of the Francis Report into the Mid-Staffordshire Foundation Trust and following the results of our own extensive review processes, IPE 1 underwent significant redevelopment in 2014-15. Cases were generated from the “Patient Stories” appendix of the Francis report highlighting failures of teamwork, communication and incidents in which harm to a patient occurred as a result of these. Students analysed the cases in an interdisciplinary fashion based on the principles of the “6Cs” tool, developed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as part of their own response to the Francis report.  Each group was required to present their case along with a professionally printed poster at a group event at the end of the process. Presentations included the issues they had identified in the cases and how good interprofessionalism, related to appropriate guidance documents, could help avoid these in future practice.

IPE 2 underwent significant redevelopment in 2015-16 including the use of WebPA.

WebPA is an application originally developed by Loughborough University. It is an online peer-moderated assessment system. It is designed for teams of students doing group-work, the outcome of which earns an overall group mark. Each student in a group grades their team-mates (and their own) performance. This grading is then used with the overall group mark to provide each student with an individual grade. The individual grade reflects the student’s contribution to the group.

It allows students to anonymously assess the contributions to a task by all members of a team, including themselves.  Students were asked to grade both themselves and their peers on eight key aspects of interprofessional working; namely: ability at searching for information, generating ideas, attendance, cooperation, communication, enthusiasm, organisation and contribution.  The scores are then inserted into an algorithm which allocates a WebPA score. A score of greater than 1 indicates an above average contribution to the group, a score of below 1 indicates a below average performance.  This score was then used to calculate and individual score for each student (by weighting the peer score as 20% of the overall final mark).  Students were also given a 10% penalty (as a percentage of their final mark) if they failed to engage with WebPA.  A range of individual marks from 42.45-98.18% was seen (cf 50-95 group mark).  50/483 students achieved a WebPA score of greater than 1.1 and received a commendation from the IPE2 lead; conversely 31/483 students scored below 0.9 showing significant disengagement with the programme.  These students were flagged up to the school IPE leads for further investigation and remedial action in their reflective diaries.  Anecdotal feedback from the IPE sub-committee attested to the value of WebPA as a way of objectively identifying individuals who perform poorly in group tasks.

The main focus of IPE 2 is on patient/client safety and aims to increase students’ understanding of the importance of good communication and teamwork in the safe and effective delivery of care. Students attend a plenary session followed by interprofessional group sessions. Each multidisciplinary group of students will consider the case of Joshua Titcombe (Morecambe Bay) reported by Kirkup (2) in which there has been a care delivery problem that has compromised patient safety and resulted in a “significant event”. Students learn how to carry out an investigation using ‘root cause analysis’. The outcome is a group report and portfolio development.

IPE 3 is introduced to students at the start of their third year of study and continues until the student completes their course. Learning objectives are achieved whilst the students are on clinical/practice based learning placements. For the successful attainment of IPE 3 learning outcomes, students are considered to be self-motivated and responsible adult learners. The emphasis at this level is on planning how the IPE 3 outcomes will be achieved. The plenary sessions are delivered by the site lead within each school. The evidence is gathered and recorded in the CPD Portfolio, whilst on placement, with a Clinical Educator/Supervisor/Mentor. This is then checked by the student’s personal tutor.