Professional practice in healthcare is under increasing challenge from changes in society and modes of care delivery. It is widely held that deep cultural shifts, both individual and systemic, are required to transform relationships in healthcare towards co-production to improve outcomes in health.
The movement to involve the public in health professional learning in education and service development to help make these shifts, is now mandated in the UK but what this means in practice is only beginning to
be understood. In both the UK and US, our long term programmes of public involvement have found that both professionals and patients can benefit and practice can change, but how and why it works or not, is not yet fully articulated.
We have argued that the deficit model of the patient and the wider community remains a significant barrier to learning patient-centred professionalism as espoused by professional leaders. The dominant research paradigm in medicine, privileging reductive over experiential
evidence and ignoring power relations and context, is not adequate for understanding the value, processes, meaning and impact of the contribution of patient and community voices to the development of professional practice. This paper reports an interdisciplinary and multi-professional approach to developing a practice-based understanding of the impact and outcomes of patient and community involvement " based on shared participatory processes across our programmes " that recognises community capacity and builds this voice in healthcare.
The project aims to strengthen the connection between theory and practice towards the development of collaborative research. All participants engage in a spiral of reflection to explore their own experiences
during this mutual enquiry. Examples
of patient, community and professional
experience in learning together are explored
and analysed from
diverse social and
learning perspectives, with patient and co
mmunity voices at the heart, to gain
understanding of the effects of
public participation in the emergence of new ways of
thinking about professionalism. Resistance
to real and effectiv
e participation and a
tendency to manipulate participation for pr
ofessional ends, rather than pursue co-
production, will be examined. Modes of
involving the public in the design and
implementation of their roles in professiona
l education are compar
for future conceptualising within the
field and current practice are drawn.
Conference Paper: Professional Lifelong Learning: Critical Debates about Professionalism. (2007)