A “really exciting” innovation that allows students to lead patient care while under supervision has been launched into the community for the first time by Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.
Collaborative Learning in Practice or CLiPP will be rolled out at Hollybank House Stroke Rehabilitation Unit in Willenhall on Tuesday, 15 November, with 17 students. If successful, it will be adopted permanently for student placements.
First introduced at Walsall Manor Hospital in February 2021 after being developed in Amsterdam, CLiPP normally works with three to four Year 1-3 students in a patient bay. Students learn from each other while being overseen by a coach – called a registrant – and healthcare assistants.
But this has been adapted to the community setting to work around a specific area in the rehabilitation area, which has adjoining rooms for the patients, connected with a dining area.
Walsall Healthcare’s Faculty of Research and Clinical Education (FORCE) Team will be supporting implementing CLiPP with Hollybank staff for the first four weeks.
Amy Jowicz, Project Support Officer for CLiPP, said: “It’s really exciting as we’re introducing CLiPP in a community setting, as well as incorporating adult nurses and Allied Health Professionals (AHP) students in Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Dietetics and Speech and Language Therapy.
“The hope is they’re able to learn from each other and experience Multi-Disciplinary Team learning. This aims to increase confidence and understanding of the significance of each role, once qualified.
“To our knowledge, CLiPP hasn’t been incorporated into the community, let alone with AHP students. This is a Walsall first and could be a fantastic case study for other AHP areas to use and increase student capacity, and recruit a future workforce.”
In another first, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy students will be involved together at the same time in a community setting, at Hollybank House.
Laura Nock is Lead Physio for implementing CLiPP in the community and Michelle Awale is the lead Occupational Therapist (OT) for CLiPP.
They said: “We are determined and passionate in supporting to make this placement model successful.”
Specific toolkits have been developed by ‘CLiPP champion’ Katie Dunn, who was a final-year Master’s student at University of Derby at the time, for both groups to use on their placements, whose numbers have leapt from three to 17.
Katie enjoyed being part of the project so much she has landed a job at Walsall Healthcare, starting as a Rotational Occupational Therapist at Hollybank House on 24 October, and will be there for the CLiPP launch.
Dietetics and Speech and Language Therapy are currently producing learner toolkits which the students can complete on placement.
Staff at Hollybank are looking to use CLiPP to launch therapy-led projects that students can lead and support in, such as a patient gardening therapy project.
Walsall has launched CLiPP in nine areas in hospital so far, including Paediatrics and Maternity, again Walsall firsts. As a result, capacity thresholds have increased by 66 per cent in these areas.
Other improvements include:
- Improved confidence and communication skills
- Reward and recognition for what the students have done well, through reflection and coaching
- The students’ own coaching skills, preparing them to be confident leaders in the future and embedding a coaching culture
Feedback has been extremely positive. Aaron Bates, Ward 2 Manager, said: “CLiPP has been great. Seeing the students flourish as a result of coaching has boosted morale among staff, and students have then demonstrated these skills on all bays. In February we received five formal patient compliments, which has definitely been influenced by CLiPP.”
A patient on Ward 11, who asked not to be named, said: “I was very pleased with the respect and dignity shown towards me.
“The nurses and student nurses were non-judgmental, kept matters confidential and have given me a chance to talk about any problems. Having more nurses in a bay has definitely helped with my mental health.”
And students have praised the approach for giving them an opportunity to learn from each other and enjoy the freedom to try to make the best decisions for the patient.
Walsall partnered with the University of Wolverhampton to deliver quality assurance training, offering bespoke educator training in preparation for the students.
The University has ensured all placement requests are allocated a student to make the model work, collaborating with Katy Cornforth, Walsall’s Practice Education Facilitator for AHPs, to provide student events where the CLiPP model can be introduced on campus in preparation for placements.
CLiPP is also launching on Wards 12 and 16 at Walsall Manor Hospital at the end of November, while other community settings and Radiography have expressed interest.
Walsall has shared its knowledge and expertise of CLiPP with its partner The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust.