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Researchers receive almost 300,000 Euros to improve patient safety

Published: Mon 4 Sep 2017

Researchers from across Europe have joined forces to reduce disparities in health and healthcare for patients with diverse needs and to better equip health professionals through increased cultural competence.

Project Manager Dr Gabrielle Tracy McClelland from the University of Bradford explains: “Cultural competence in a health context is how we as health professionals ideally think, feel and behave towards people who may be different to ourselves. Health care examples may be a nurse looking after a partially sighted child or a radiographer caring for an older Black woman who defines herself as a lesbian.”

The project team, led by Dr Gabrielle Tracy McClelland and Professor Uduak Archibong from the University of Bradford, has been awarded €299,538.00 from Erasmus+ 2017 Key Action 203 Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education fund.

The funding will enable the three year project, known as ‘Sim-Versity’ (Simulation-Diversity), to start this September with the aim of stimulating the development, piloting and implementation of new web- based resources as a novel approach to optimizing patient safety. This will be done by combining best practice, new guidelines and feedback from services users and experts.

The project, whose full title is ‘Optimizing patient safety through culturally competent simulation-based education with health professionals’ aims to address globally relevant concerns around social justice and inclusion; tackling inequality and diversity around gender, ethnicity, disability and age, through health professional education.

The project team is made up of researchers from the University of Bradford, University College Cork, Savonia University of Applied Sciences Ltd in Finland and University of Maribor Slovenia.

Dr Gabrielle Tracy McClelland said: "Cultural competence among health professionals is critical in the pursuance of safe and effective care. This project will use simulation- based education as a vehicle to reinforce key equality and diversity messages and to encourage health professionals to think about how they behave and respond to patients with diverse characteristics for example, transgendered persons or those with sensory impairment"

Professor Uduak Archibong, Scientific coordinator, University of Bradford said: “I am thrilled that we have secured this funding. The SIM-VERSITY project will ensure our teaching and learning of cultural competence in health professional education curricula focus on both theoretical and experiential learning. This will further develop in our students the desirable graduate attribute and skills to communicate competently and sensitively with an increasingly diverse range of patients and professionals.”

The objectives of the project are to create a free online tool kit available to everyone which will ultimately improve the health and healthcare of people across the world who may currently be treated differently by health care staff.

Also forming the project team from Bradford is Amanda Briggs and Dr Melissa Owens. 

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