Linda & Rhiannon, occupational therapy students, and Amy & Niki, physiotherapy students were placed within a corporate setting within Wye Valley NHS trust, a large local trust, for their final placement experience. The students attended placement virtually, and worked on a serious incident case study, alongside a physiotherapy and occupational therapy clinical manager. This was the first corporate placement that they had offered and the students appreciated how hard they had worked to make it a success.
“To be honest, and I think I can speak for my fellow students too, we were all a little dubious about it at first, as it was non-patient facing, in fact no patient contact whatsoever, and completely from home.”Linda, 3rd year Occupational Therapy student
Students worked in multi-professional pairs and were given a case study to investigate. One team of students investigated tissue viabilty and the other team a fall from bed. They identified the contributing factors leading to it becoming a serious incident and had the opportunity to identify learning and service improvements that could be implemented. They were provided with Quality, Service Improvement and Redesign (QSIR) training which equipped them with the tools needed to identify and implement a service improvement.
Student fears were calmed somewhat by receiving an email from the practice educators which laid out their expectations of the placement. The project added 3-4 objectives, as well as the University mandated learning outcomes, which included coming up with a service improvement for the trust and completing serious incident documentation relevant to the case studies. On day one, students collected their computers and case study files and were allocated their serious incidents.
“Our first corporate placement was fully welcomed and supported by our colleagues including senior management and executives. We’re so proud of how much our students achieved in 8 weeks and were impressed with their quality improvement initiatives. It’s been so rewarding to see Amy, Niki, Linda, and Rhiannon develop the passion and enthusiasm for reducing falls and pressure damage and we hope it continues to grow throughout their careers”Jo & Emma, Practice Educators
Over the 8 weeks the students participated and observed many meetings including SI panel, falls expert panel, pressure ulcer panel, ICD operational and governance meetings, Transformation Tuesday, what’s up Wednesday, Falls Friday, quality committee and the board meeting. They also had individual sessions and training with the Director of Nursing, falls prevention, continence, tissue viability, claims, inquests, complaints, SI’s, audit and the compliance side of patient safety, Datix, wheelchair service, specials panel, and more!
“This placement was a fantastic learning experience for me, and gave me an idea of the bigger picture and how people are involved in improving services. I also was able to learn about falls and dementia, some things as a healthcare student that I would not have considered previously, and this inspired me to develop a project around falls and dementia. It was great to see that the poster I designed around this subject will be displayed around the hospital and that there is a possibility this project may develop into something greater and encourage staff learning. Overall, this placement has taught me about the importance of improving quality of care and sharing learning to enhance patient and staff experience. “Rhiannon, 3rd year Occupational Therapy Student
“Although these meetings were virtual and with high-level members of staff, we were welcomed and included. We felt that [the meeting organisers] valued us for what we offered as much as we valued the privilege of being able to participate”Linda, 3rd year Occupational Therapy Student
“The meetings enabled us to use our clinical knowledge to assist in a multidisciplinary way. This was my highlight, as it got me thinking about patients from more of a holistic view but also specifically what physiotherapy could do to help the patient.”Amy, 3rd year Physiotherapy Student
Each student team researched a wide range of areas to assist them to investigate the SI as if they were in charge of the case. Areas such as deprivation of liberty, single handed care, wound care, posture, dementia guidelines, and bed rail guidelines were explored. They also used the trust intranet to look up policies and procedures regarding our case study to see if these were being adhered to.
“ This has been my favourite placement, despite it not being patient-facing. It has challenged me on a different level to other more clinical placements and I’m proud to have had the amazing opportunity to experience the wider picture of patient care in a corporate context. It’s given me a whole new and valuable perspective, which is something that even the Band 5 therapists don’t get to experience. This experience has certainly shaped the way I will work when I’m qualified”Niki, 3rd year Physiotherapy Student
This placement enabled the students to have a huge overview of various services and health professions at all levels, as well as clarifying the importance of integrated and collaborative working, understanding the roles of other health professionals, prevention, safeguarding and leadership, alongside the importance of person and support network care and support throughout, to enhance patient outcomes and best practice.
“This, I feel, has been the perfect conclusion to my university placement experiences.”Linda, 3rd year Occupational Therapy Student
“I really enjoyed my contemporary corporate placement. I actually didn’t want to leave!!”Amy, 3rd year Physiotherapy Student
The placement concluded with a final presentation of findings of the serious incident reviews to one another, the practice educators, and senior members of the corporate team who had supported the students journey including the trust's director of nursing, AHP lead, tissue viability team, falls champions, Group Associate Director of Improvement and Urgent Care Programme Manager (amongst others!)
“We felt absolutely accepted, supported, and valued as students on this placement. It was a privilege to be part of it”Niki, 3rd year Physiotherapy Student
“From listening to your final presentation, it appears that you have probably had a greater impact to more patients and services than you would have had on a traditional, patient-facing placement”Becky, Practice Education Lecturer