Developing interprofessional education in the pre-registration curricula: mission impossible?
Interprofessional education has long been cited in health and social care policy as a remedy to improve many of the problems faced by the National Health Service (NHS) around co-ordination and collaboration of staff. More recently, this form of education has been acknowledged as having a key role in delivering the government's modernisation agenda to produce a more 'flexible' workforce. Given the large number of logistical problems connected to developing interprofessional education before registration, this type of activity more often occurs after registration. It is interesting, therefore, to note that pre-registration interprofessional education has recently been hailed by NHS policy as a primary method for enhancing collaboration. However, these policy documents have both contributed to the conceptual confusion in this area and also overlooked the range of factors (educational, organisational and cultural) connected with implementing and sustaining this type of education in the pre-registration sector. In posing the question, 'pre-registration interprofessional education: mission impossible?' this paper examines the cultural, organisational and educational factors that affect the development of this activity. It also considers attempts to build an evidence-base for interprofessional education. This paper finally outlines how the implementation of interprofessional practice-based placements can be an achievable goal for the pre-registration curricula.
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