Delivering education, training and research at the service-level
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Prof Stephen Leeder addresses participants at the ETR models of care workshop

Representatives from the Westmead precinct have come together for an inspiring workshop to develop strategies for embedding education, training and research (ETR) into models of care inside the new hospital building. 

A model of care outlines how care will be delivered to patients and is different for each department. All departments moving into the new building are now looking at how ETR can be embedded in their service,

WSLHD Research and Education Network operations director Helene Abouyanni, said: "the workshop was designed to help teams feel inspired.”

“The presenters discussed some really interesting topics, and we want to learn from their experience, and each other, so that we have the best possible outcomes for education, training and research in our new models of care,” she said.

The workshop included representatives from the Westmead Redevelopment project, the WSLHD Research and Education Network, the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, the University of Sydney and clinical representatives from project user groups. 

Helene said: “the Westmead Redevelopment project is building exciting, visionary spaces to support contemporary education and training methods and state-of-the-art learning environments.

The research and education network has worked in partnership with the project team to plan and design spaces that enable teaching and learning at every level of service.

Workshop participants discuss the emergency department model of care. 

Westmead Redevelopment director of redesign and transformation Carla Edwards, said the workshop was an opportunity for departments to meet colleagues from different teams and organisations, and brainstorm ways to bring education, training and research to life. 

“Departments moving into the new central acute services building have been working hard over the last 12 months to develop models of care for service in the new environment,” she said.  

“Now the work lies in further developing the ETR component, and thinking about how it will be embedded and operationalised, so that teams can make the best use of their new spaces.”

A key theme that emerged from the workshop was finding time for ETR activities on top of an already heavy clinical workload. 

One presenter, Prof Anna DeFazio of the University of Sydney, said that most clinicians have the best intentions when it comes to research, but too often, urgent clinical work takes over. 

“We found that by having researchers go to clinical meetings, in addition to clinicians participating in research meetings, research had a stronger presence in the clinical conversation.”

By embedding research as a discipline in multi-disciplinary care, Anna’s team found that their research has greater potential to improve outcomes for patients with cancer.

Another strategy, outlined by Dr Gillian Nisbet, senior lecturer and director of work integrated learning at the University of Sydney, was to redesign placement models so that students, with the appropriate supervision, could undertake some of a clinician’s workload. 

“The model aimed to increase service delivery by mobilising students as a key resource, improving patient outcomes and student learning outcomes,” she said.

“The result of the model in a sub-acute ward was a student-led approach to learning
that reduced a patient’s length of stay in hospital by four days.” 

WSLHD research and education network director Prof Stephen Leeder, said the spirit of collaboration and partnership at the workshop boded well for the future of education, training and research at Westmead. 

“There’s a justifiable sense of optimism about this. We have very high-quality people in the room, and this is a magic moment for developing interesting and progressive ideas,” he said.

“The message in all of this is that there is a very definite place in the re-envisioning of the Westmead precinct, to take very seriously the incorporation of education, training and research.”

The Westmead precinct will enable an environment that links healthcare, research and education to empower clinicians, students, patients and carers to be part of world-class quality healthcare. 

If you are a community member interested in getting involved with education, training and research initiatives at Westmead, please contact us.     

More information

Professor Anna de Fazio holds the Sydney-West Chair in Translational Cancer Research, University of Sydney and an honorary position in the Department of Gynaecological Oncology, Westmead Hospital. She is a School Academic Leader (Research) Sydney Medical School and heads the Gynaecological Oncology Research Laboratory at the Centre for Cancer Research, Westmead Institute for Medical Research and Westmead Hospital.