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The University of Southampton

Making history: 1,500 Hampshire university students set to become new generation of health and social care professionals

Published: 22 October 2003

The University of Southampton and the University of Portsmouth are gearing up to mark the launch of a ground breaking programme which is transforming the way health and social care students are educated. An event at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton will see the 1,500 new students who have just started their university courses gather together for the first time.

The University of Southampton, in collaboration with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Workforce Development Confederation and the University of Portsmouth has taken the national lead in 'common learning'. Pioneered by the New Generation Project, all students following health and social care courses will spend a significant part of their programmes learning together.

Those studying audiology, diagnostic radiotherapy, nursing, medicine, midwifery, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry, pharmacy, therapeutic radiography, and social work across both Universities will take five units of common learning so that they can learn with, from and about each other. The idea is that if students are learning in interprofessional teams from the beginning of their courses, they will be used to working with different professionals when they enter the workplace and so will work more effectively. The ultimate benefit, as a result, will be improved patient care.

Professor Debra Humphris is the Director of the New Generation Project: "It seems common sense to make time in the cirriculum to teach all these professionals together, but it's just not done at the moment. We're in a unique position as we train a wide range of professions and so our students really will be getting an exceptional experience. This will help them become outstanding professionals able to deliver first-class care."

Professor Dame Jill Macleod Clark is Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences and is also Chair of the Council of Deans and Heads of UK University Faculties for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting. She has been responsible for the project from the start and said: "Our students will be working in a modernised NHS and we need to educate them to help them to meet the challenge of delivering patient-centred services in innovative ways.

"The students at our launch at the Mayflower Theatre will be the new generation of health and social care professionals-their experience of interprofessional education is the key to providing a flexible and modern workforce."

Related Staff Member

Notes for editors

  1. Journalists are welcome to attend the event at the Mayflower, which starts at 9.30am. Key people and students who have experienced a pilot version of common learning will be available for interview. Please contact Meline Burke, Communication Officer email, tel (023) 8059 5457 for details.
  2. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University, which celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2002, has 20,000 students and over 4,500 staff and plays an important role in the City of Southampton. Its annual turnover is in the region of £215 million.
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