Maudsley Learning’s Perspective on the 2019 Topol Review

Reflecting on personalised learning.

15/07/2019
4 min read
Chris Attoe

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Chris Attoe

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Being in the audience at the launch of the Topol Report this week at the Royal Society of Medicine, I was encouraged to reflect on personalised learning. This struck me as no means feat for Maudsley Learning – as part of one of the UK’s largest mental health providers, South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and one of the world largest mental health research institutions, the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurosciences at King’s College London. Alongside delivering mental health training across the country, the scale of our work locally appears anything but personalised.

“As highlighted in the Topol Report, it is essential that we continue to develop our provision of personalised learning throughout our CPD training portfolio.“

However, closer reflection on our current work demonstrates to me that ways that we already do accommodate personalised learning. Our newly launched Continued Professional Development (CPD) Masterclasses cover key clinical areas in mental health, providing clinicians with the opportunity to address the real challenges, topics, and skills that they encounter daily. Our in-development Virtual Learning Environment seeks to provide learners with access to a range of self-directed resources based on core principles of pedagogy and instructional design. Our BMJ-award winning experiential mental health simulation courses deliver practical experience and reflective practice to tailor learning to individual and group needs. Finally, we are excited about the potential of our innovative Virtual Reality mental health scenarios that we are currently piloting with early adopters.

Beyond mental health services

A key message from the recently published Topol Report was that within healthcare we need to work more broadly with schools, higher education institutions, and further educational settings.

This message resonated closely with our team at Maudsley Learning. We enjoy working closely with schools through some innovative educational programmes, which we will be showcasing at St. Mary’s University. CUES-Ed is a brilliant cognitive behavioural therapy based programme delivered by Clinical Psychologists to primary school year groups to improve all children’s mental health and psychological functioning. DISCOVER is a heart-warming programme delivered in sixth forms to explore mental health, develop awareness, and provide early support to students.

Our partnership with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurosciences at King’s College London has been the perfect platform for us to contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate healthcare training. Through Maudsley Simulation  we have delivered experiential mental health simulation training within existing degree programmes to translate theory into practice. We have been excited to work with further Universities across the country to deliver this training that bridges the gap between higher education and the workplace.

Among our most exciting and eye-opening work has been with other educational groups, such as our local service user involvement teams, the Baked Bean Company, and the performing arts. These experiences have enriched not only our learners’ experiences, but our own and continue to support development of our high quality educational products.

Reaching beyond traditional healthcare boundaries is indeed a key message for educators to consider in supporting our current and future workforces.

Core Recommendations

While we as healthcare educators have been absorbing the findings of the recently published Topol Report, we at Maudsley Learning were heartened by certain recommendations that echoed our way of doing things.

Calls for development of workplace learning infrastructure resonated with us, through our training delivery to teams in their clinical areas, to our integration with clinical services through shared personnel, and our amazing ORTUS centre on the Maudsley Hospital site.

Organisations developing a reputation for education and training embodies the mission of Maudsley Learning within mental health, supporting our ultimate goal of improving healthcare for all through high quality education and training delivery.

Highlighting the need for proactive rather than reactive learning activities reflects the breadth of training opportunities that we offer. Our partners, such as CUES-Ed endeavour to intervene positively in children’s mental health to prevent mental illness and promote wellbeing. Our range of experiential simulation courses and Continued Professional Development (CPD) Masterclassess provide training in core clinical areas driven by our subject matter experts and clinicians.

Finally, developing a cadre of skilled educators and creating system to inspire and harness new educators aligns closely with both our faculty development programme and our efforts to share the considerable subject matter expertise at our disposal. We are passionate about engaging new clinical educators in developing our healthcare workforces, and supporting this body of educators to continually improve their practice.

If you want to find out more about our courses our portfolio is available here.