European Hospital & Healthcare Employers’ Association

Patients as teachers: FEHAP initiative on the involvement of patients in the education of professionals

Alice Casagrande (FR), HOSPEEM Expert on CPD and LLL, spoke at the European Patients’ Forum Congress in Brussels on 13 November 2019 during the plenary session “Patients as teachers – a deep dive into professional education” as the FEHAP representative.  Alice Casagrande is  the Director of the LLL, innovation and voluntary work at the Fédération des Etablissements Hospitaliers et d’Aide à la Personne, Privés Non Lucratifs-FEHAP, the HOSPEEM member in France.

Ms Casagrande talked about the involvement of her organisation (an employer’s federation representing non-profit organisations) in a project called ‘Partners in Knowledge’. This promotes a commitment to involve patients and social service users in professional education. Inspired by the Vancouver statement on professional education (2015)  and the interprofessional health mentor programme of the University of British Columbia in Canada, Ms Casagrande underlined that we should not just be looking at medical students; other healthcare professionals – e.g. nurses, midwives, occupational therapists, dentists…- are also part of the overall health provision picture. This is based on the notion of interprofessional education, which entails that students should learn around or with the help of a patient, a disabled person or a carer. Involving the broader spectrum of healthcare providers will improve communication with one another in relation to person-centered care.

The project has been ongoing since 2015, with a small group of committed representatives from relevant stakeholders. Information on experimental programmes in health care and social services involving patients and social services users were collected. The Swedish ‘gap-mending model‘, where training involves those people in the services that are intended for them was one of these; this programme has found that such learning substantially reduces the distance between health and social care providers and the people concerned.

The work has led to the formulation of the ‘Partners in Knowledge’ statement, addressing the involvement of patients and social services users in continuous education, which has already been signed by the French health minister as well as by major students’ unions.

Watch the EPF congress video of the intervention (EN)

Visit the FEHAP “Partners in Knowledge” webpage (FR: “Associons nos Savoirs”) and its resources section (FR) for more information

Photo credits:

2019 © European Patients Forum

2019 © Photo StudioVercammen