Disabled People, Effective Practitioners: Enabling a Health Care Workforce that Better Reflects Society

By Chris Dearnley, Jacinta Elliott, Janet Hargreaves, Sunita Morris, Lizzie Walker, Stuart Walker and Catherine Arnold.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this paper we will discuss the current tensions that exist between UK anti-discrimination legislation and the professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs) that govern registration of health and social care practitioners in the United Kingdom. The tensions arise from aspirations for a work force that reflects the wider community and the need to safeguard patient safety. We present an overview of the relevant legislation and the requirements of the main health and social care professional statutory and regulating bodies, whose overall aim is safeguarding the general public. Four individual case studies, which have drawn on qualitative and quantitative data to explore some of the ensuing challenges and seek resolutions, are discussed and their outcomes synthesised to make recommendations. Conducting research with disabled participants requires specific considerations; we reflect on these in this paper and discuss our experiential learning.

Keywords: Disabled Students in Higher Education, Disabled Health and Social Care Practitioners, Research with Disabled People

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 8, pp.259-274. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 679.631KB).

Dr. Chris Dearnley

Senior Lecturer/University Learning & Teaching Fellow, Division of Service Development & Improvement, School of Health Studies, University of Bradford, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK

Chris has a keen interest and a comprehensive research portfolio in learning and assessment for health and social care practitioners. Her early work was applied to open and distance learning and this led to her current interest in the potential of eLearning and more recently mobile learning, in helping students learn how to learn. She has published widely on the components of independent learning and the implications for students, tutors and the NHS; Independent learning and its relationship with personal and professional development and Learning technologies as a means to supporting independent learning.

Jacinta Elliott

Consultant, Elliott Walker Consultancy Ltd, YAHODPEN, York, UK

Jacinta Elliott, MAML, is a visiting lecturer at the Centre for Management and Leadership at the University of York and an associate member of the coaching and facilitation team at the Centre for the Development of Healthcare Policy and Practice at the School of Healthcare Studies at the University of Leeds. She co-ordinates a university network which includes all 11 of the universities in Yorkshire and the Humber which has the aim of widening participation in medicine, dentistry, clinical sciences, nursing and allied health professions. This work is sponsored by the regional Strategic Health Authority.

Dr. Janet Hargreaves

Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching, School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK

Trained as a registered general nurse in the 1970s, I moved into Higher Education at Sheffield Hallam University teaching nursing programmes and undertaking a quality assurance secondment into Registry. In 2002 I was appointed as Director of Practice for the School of Healthcare, University of Leeds and in 2006 I moved to my current post at the University of Huddersfield where I am Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) for the School of Human and Health Sciences. I teach across all academic levels and have a leadership role for learning and teaching. I am particularly interested in the practice focus in professional education. I have recently been selected and trained by the Nursing and Midwifery Council to be become a panel member and Chair for their Fitness to Practise process. My doctoral study explored the relationship between nursing education and practice, focusing on adult general nursing between 1945-1955. in addition to nursing history my research interests are in education, including disability, the use of creativity, reflective practice and ethics. I am director of studies for one doctoral student and co–director for a further five.

Sunita Morris

Teacher Fellow/Senior Lecturer in Nursing, Faculty of Health, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK

Sunita Morris has worked at Leeds Met since 2001, having previously been a Sister and Senior Sister within several intensive care units over the last 10 years. Her previous post was Senior Nurse for the Head, Neck and Musculoskeletal Division for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Commenced funded research and doctorate research in June 2008 evaluating the impact of widening particpation initiatives on admission to Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Medicine and Dentistry courses.

Lizzie Walker

Research Assistant, School of Human and Health Sciences, The University of Huddersfield, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK

Disability researcher with the School of Human and Health Sciences. Background in mental health service user/survivor activism and research. Nearly 10 years voluntary sector involvement, working in partnership with health service providers at local, regional and national levels.

Prof. Stuart Walker

Disability Advisor, University of Bradford, UK

Stuart Walker is a Disability Advisor at the University of Bradford UK, with a specific responsibility for Assistive Technology. He supports Disabled Students and staff and aims to enable them via technology. A self confessed techie, Stuart has a keen interest in all areas of technology. He has both aided and led in winning research grants to explore Mobile Technologies and Speech Recognition Systems / Software. He continues to explore both areas and is also researching applications of Open Source Operating systems, principally Linux Distro’s eg: Ubuntu, Fedora, SuSE etc., for eLearning, student engagement and accessibility. Stuart is currently in the process of completing an MRes and PhD in the area of Speech recognition and writing styles.

Catherine Arnold

Faculty Inclusivity and Community Engagement Manager, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK

Catherine Arnold is Faculty Inclusivity and Community Engagement Manager for the Sheffield Hallam University Faculty of Health and Wellbeing.


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