Quality improvement through the paradigm of learning

Hafford-Letchfield, Trish ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0105-0678 and Lavender, Peter (2015) Quality improvement through the paradigm of learning. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, 16 (4) . pp. 195-207. ISSN 1471-7794 [Article] (doi:10.1108/QAOA-02-2015-0009)

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Purpose - If we are to achieve meaningful participation and co-production for older people in care, more radical approaches are required. This project explores an innovation where older people using social care were matched to community based learning mentors to develop partnerships within which learning interventions were facilitated. We explore how the concept of learning might be used as a paradigm to raise the quality of care in institutionalised settings using a co-productive and relationship based approach to promote wellbeing.

Design/methodology/approach - A structured evaluation drew on qualitative data captured from interviews with older people (n=25) and learning mentors (n=22) to reflect on the potential benefits and challenges involved when introducing learning interventions in care settings. This was contextualised alongside data captured from stakeholders (n=10) including a care home manager, social care and education commissioners, Trustees and project staff to assess the interdisciplinary contribution of lifelong learning to quality improvement.

Findings - Introducing learning interventions to older people within care settings promoted participation, advocacy and relationship-based care which in turn helped to create a positive culture. Given the current challenges to improve quality in care services, drawing on a paradigm of learning may encourage older people to retain their independence as care homes strive towards a person-centred approach. Promoting social activities and leisure using learning was found to foster closer working relationships between older people and the wider community. These had a levelling effect through reciprocity, using an asset based approach. There were benefits for the care provider as the partnerships formed enabled people to raise both individual and collective concerns about care and support.

Originality/value - Raising and sustaining the quality of support for older people requires input from the wider public sector beyond health and social care. Purposeful engagement with other disciplines such as learning and leisure offers the potential to realise a more sustainable model of user choice, person-centred support and user involvement. Being engaged through learning can nourish membership in the community for marginalised populations such as older people living in care homes.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Older people, Care Homes, Quality, Learning opportunities, Social care, Participation, Co-production, Reciprocity
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 18468
Notes on copyright: This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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Depositing User: Trish Hafford-Letchfield
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2015 10:24
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 22:22
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/18468

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