Collaboration between older people, nurses and a university to improve care and alter attitudes

Susan Dray, Christine Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalConference or Meeting Abstractpeer-review


Background: Studies globally have found that students can display negative attitudes towards older people. (Nolan et al 2002, NMC 2009, Kydd et al 2014). An attitude exacerbated by both registered nurses and the education system (Engstrom & Fagerberg 2011, Coleman 2014). Aim: In order to improve this it was decided to collaborate with a local nursing home group and place students in homes that offer a positive learning environment, as studies have shown this can change a student's attitude. (Sarabia-Cobo, Canestanedo Pfeiffer 2015) Method: The Summerhill group were approached and agreed to work with the University. Educational audits using the All Wales Audit document were carried out and full mentorship training was given to the Nurses (NMC 2010). Relationships were built and the nurses were found to be enthusiastic not just for the students but also the philosophy of care carried out within the group. This philosophy of relationship centred care promised to enhance the student's learning and this together with the positivity displayed by the nurses could only be beneficial to the students and ultimately the care they delivered. (Carlson & Idvall 2014, Cooper et al 2015). To get to this position the Summerhill Group undertook a comprehensive review of the provision of care across our nine care homes. The strategy was developed to be consistent with the belief that older people want to enjoy a good quality of life. It demonstrated a new direction and a commitment to a culture of empowerment for older people living in their homes. This study was conducted by interviews and discussions with staff and older people regarding their lives and what is important to them. The views generated were an important point in the proposed change and recognised a need for holistic relationship centred approach where collaborative working was seen as the change agent. The strategy and findings were implemented in the Summerhill group demonstrating nursing care is more than attending to older peoples care needs; it's about people's wishes to experience love, compassion, friendship, fulfilment and have a sense of belonging. (Nolan et al, 2006; Smith, 2010, OPCfW, 2014). Results/Conclusion: This fostered a new way of working, with a new culture and philosophy, and an ethos of empowerment for older people within the homes. Above all, the strategy aimed to ensure a good quality of life. Which is about support and building a future in terms of collaboration at all levels.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberC2-24
Pages (from-to)42
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2016
Event5th European Nursing Congress: Caring for Older People: How Can We Do the Right Things Right? - Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 4 Oct 20167 Oct 2016


  • collaboration
  • older people
  • attitudes
  • learning environment
  • care home


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