The Health and Wellbeing Community Outreach programme for undergraduate learners was funded by Health Education England (HEE) and has now finished. A final evaluation report of the work is avaliable here. Universities in the North of England were tasked with developing innovative ways their health and social care undergraduate students could highlight issues around health and wellbeing in their local communities – particularly in school settings and offer an age appropriate health and wellbeing intervention. The work built on a pilot that was successfully completed by four participating universities across the Northwest. To read more about those initial pilots and a case study summarising the work click here or access the sliders below
Ten universities from across the North of England were able to deliver projects of their choosing, despite the significant challenges of the Covid 19 pandemic. Delivering community outreach work in a range of settings – including schools, the voluntary sector and in local community settings. The target audience were largely school age children but included those with long term conditions and family approaches as well. All participating universities will be evaluated their own projects and an overarching report summarising outputs and impact of all of the work has been produced by Manchester Metropolitan University.
Findings will be presented at a conference to be hosted by the University of Salford in November 2022 – further information to follow.
2020/21 Programme: Phase 1 Participants
The University of Lancaster Medical School - Hayley Willacy - Health promotion in schools – engaging year 2 students with the local community
During our 4 week Health Promotion in Schools course, medical undergraduates develop and then deliver health promotion activities to local school children in their school settings.
Secondary aims of the course include developing teamwork and health information communications skills, embedding social responsibility amongst the students, increasing the visibility of the medical school within the local community and providing visible role-modelling for those local children who may not have considered university, or medicine as a possible future option.
Local non-selective schools were approached by the medical school to take part in the project. They agreed to the students delivering one (hour long) PHSE or science lesson, to year 8 pupils.
The students attended two half-day workshops on campus. The first covered the role and importance of health promotion and which topics may be important to this age group. They also discussed the challenges involved in delivering teaching to this age group and how they might overcome them. The medical school chose cardiovascular disease prevention as the topic to be delivered, as this also complimented their teaching in that part of their course and was a topic with which they would be familiar.
The students discussed ways to make the topic accessible to young people. They had timetabled sessions to develop lesson plans beforehand and received feedback from the tutor and their peers. The tutors (experienced local GPs) quality assured the content and provided formative feedback and support during the workshops.
Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) - Dr Maxine Holt - The Wellness Project
Dr Maxine Holt is a Principal Lecturer in Public Health at Manchester Metropolitan University with a main focus on research and knowledge exchange. Her areas of interest include the development of training and curricula for those professionals who are involved in all aspects of public health work. The project entitled “Upskilling undergraduate nursing students to empower children's health promotion within UK school settings” involved enabling the nursing students to plan and deliver a series of health education sessions over half day workshop to 120 children aged 9-10 and 16 teachers from three primary schools in the North West.
Stockport NHS Foundation Trust - Jan Sinclair - All Learner’s Public Health Conference
In Stockport, we have always been very keen to engage our healthcare students in public health initiatives as part of the academic programme and ensure they are well-informed about the importance of maintaining a ‘public health mindset’ at all times, as an integral part of their role.
As part of this agenda, in 2016 a new initiative was planned in partnership with Stockport MBC, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust and Manchester Universities which involved delivering a ‘Public Health Conference’, for pre-registration health care students on placement in Stockport. The conference provided a wonderful opportunity for the students to learn more about public health services in Stockport and to explore their role in promoting health and sign-posting to services.
Students – then have the opportunity to sign up for local public health spoke placements thanks to support from the local public health team.
Future plans are to continue with the conference annually and provision of a conference “Toolkit” which shares the model so that other provider organisations could develop similar approaches.
Following the 2017 conference the initiative won a national Student Nursing Times Award for Partnership collaboration.
The University of Manchester - Dr David Allison - Peer Education: Putting our healthcare future in their hands
“Core curriculum public engagement workshops delivered to high school pupils by pharmacy undergraduates on public health topics designed to improve population health have produced outstanding outcomes for both pupils and students. Since 2017 over 2000 pupils across 12 schools have received these workshops, delivered by 288 undergraduate students.”
The aims of the work are outlined below:
- To develop, implement and facilitate a wide range of health promotion workshops targeting year 9 / 10 young learners, delivered by undergraduate students as a core curriculum activity.
- To enhance the interaction between the University’s academics and students with whole school communities in Greater Manchester.
- To measure the impact of these interventions on the well-being of the local communities and target groups
- To assess the value of this activity on undergraduate education and student development.
Topics covered by our pharmacy learners include, Alcohol Awareness, Diabetes, Mental Health Awareness, Party Drug Awareness, Sexual Health Awareness as well as AMR.
The University of Chester - Gay Rabie - Helping you to help yourself
The university ran a health & wellbeing fun day based on specified requirements of a local co – educational secondary school involved. Academic programme tutors and post graduate Specialist Community Public health students (Health Visitors’ & School Nurses’) designed and delivered the fun day in collaboration with the year head. Topics covered included mental health and wellbeing, resuscitation and personal hygiene. The school was in an area of high deprivation and an age appropriate and supportive learning session was developed.
The day was positively evaluated with plans to maintain the working relationship between the school and university.
2021/22 Programme: Phase 2 Full Emulation Report
Whilst there is a recognition of a whole system approach to public health, education providers offering undergraduate and preregistration healthcare programmes are well placed to drive forward the public health and prevention agenda.
In 2019, education providers offering undergraduate healthcare programmes were able to apply to Health Education England Northwest (HEE) for a funding allocation of £30,000 to plan, develop, deliver, and integrate an undergraduate health & wellbeing outreach programme as part of and linked to the undergraduate learning experience.
Eleven projects were allocated funding in 2019 and due to the impact of Covid19, the completion date for projects was extended to July 2021. It is important to acknowledge the impact of Covid-19 on the ability to complete the projects for some universities and for others, this led to a change to the planned methodology.
This report provides a collated evaluation of funded projects completed by March 2022. It provides an overview of responses based on the thematic questions each university was required to answer in their individual detailed evaluations. More detailed and specific evaluation of each project can be found in each university’s individual report found in the accompanying Document B.
- A wide range of professional programmes and curricula participated in the projects thereby ensuring the multidisciplinary approach and responsibility to health and wellbeing.
- A diverse range of types of projects were undertaken in a range of settings including primary and secondary schools, community settings, public spaces, and some were carried out in universities as virtual simulated learning activity.
- Over 687 university students participated across a range of health and social care programmes; over 4,575 school children and over 811 patients and members of the public were involved in the various projects.
- The benefits to students were well documented and included an increased awareness of population health; improved perception of, and attitude towards interprofessional education interprofessional education (IPE) and the ability to function as part of a multi-disciplinary team; improved awareness of their own health and wellbeing; improved confidence and communication skills; pride in their specific profession and the ability to promote this as a future career to a wide audience.
- There were health benefits reported by the recipients, including participating in exercise for the first time at 64 years of age; an increase in discussion about mental health and wellbeing in school children. There were other benefits highlighted by some of the charities, including having student helpers as a resource and the development of supplementary resources which could be used in future activities.
- A range of health themes were selected across the projects ranging from physical and mental health, dental health, resilience awareness, food and nutrition, obesity, diabetes, physical activity and exercise, health checks, and social prescribing.
- All projects stated they were sustainable, but with the caution of the impact Covid may still have for the foreseeable future.
- The historical challenges of timetabling and co-ordination of IPE activities within and outside University settings remain.
- The development of future partnerships and other external funding was seen as an added value to the outreach programme.
Take Home Messages:
- There is a clear and evidenced desire from the university students and project leads for the inclusion of population health in pre-registration and undergraduate curricula.
- There is emerging evidence of the value of community outreach engagement with schools, communities and charities for both the university students and the recipients of the interventions and activities.
- Future projects focussed around the sustained impact of these interventions on the health and social care students and the recipients are needed.
- Finally, as one project lead summarised:
“there is a real opportunity to work in collaboration with external stakeholders to create placement opportunities for all students to have a population health placement. It is crucial that we include all our pre-registration health and social care students as part of this in offering health ambassador/public health role/ universal services for the wider community.”
Access the report here.
2020/21 Programme: Friday 21st Febraury 2020 - Cohort 2 meeting
On Friday 21st February 2020 a meeting at St George's Centre Leeds was held with all participating universities at the midway point of the project, providing the opportunity to meet, collaborate and share delivery models, consider the value of this work and how HEE could support adoption and spread. Our key vision for this work being that our future healthcare workforce are key ambassadors for primary and secondary prevention work in all healthcare settings.