International Practice Development Journal


Title of ArticleFrom root to fruit – flourishing in change. Evaluation of a development programme for practice development facilitators in end-of-life care
Type of ArticleOriginal Practice Development and Research
Author/sCaroline Dickson, Melanie Legg, Pam Penman and Tracy Smith
ReferenceVolume 8, Issue 1, Article 3
Date of PublicationMay 2018
Keywordsactive learning, culture, end-of-life care, person-centredness, practice development


Background: This paper outlines the structure, processes and outcomes of a 12-month development programme for nurses who were transitioning from a practice-based training role to a practice development role. The programme was part of organisational commitment to develop a person-centred culture. A new team of practice development facilitators across the UK was formed at Marie Curie, a UK-based charity supporting persons with palliative and end-of-life care needs.

Aim: The overall aim of the programme was to enable practice development facilitators to engage with the theory and practice of practice development, and to develop as enablers in the delivery of person-centred practice.

Method: A co-designed, multimethod evaluation of the programme, which adopted emancipatory practice development and active learning methodologies. Data collection included fourth-generation evaluation, reflective writing, participant stories and examples of practice change.

Findings: The programme supported a change in focus of participants’ role from technical to emancipatory. The team identified new ways of engaging together that enabled them to embody person-centredness. By experiencing active learning, they came to a better understanding of  themselves and their practice. Throughout the programme, the team experienced a range of organisational challenges that impacted on their progress. Development of facilitation skills and a strong community of practice will enhance the embeddedness and sustainability of the new role.

Conclusions: Facilitators of practice development can be catalysts in the development of person-centred cultures, which are indicative of flourishing organisations. To be sustainable, initiatives such as this one need to be included in organisational strategy. A sense of wellbeing and renewed commitment to develop practice in ways that keep person-centred care at its heart can be experienced through experiencing human flourishing.

Key messages:

  • Making explicit values and beliefs at the beginning of a programme enables social learning and innovation in practice
  • Investment in practice development can be a catalyst in developing person-centred cultures
  • Role modelling person-centredness has a positive impact on staff wellbeing and person-centred practices
  • Embedding communities of practice maintains the momentum of new ways of working

This article by Caroline Dickson, Melanie Legg, Pam Penman and Tracy Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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