Quality (111) Improving the quality and safety of health services (5) Continuing professional development

7 July, 2021

Dear HIFA colleagues,

Last week I forwarded a message from our sister forum CHIFA (child health) from Ruth Davidge, South Africa. She described how 'nurses are very dependent on the historical practices in their unit and on Dr orders. Very few have access to current scientific literature (journals), ongoing education, textbooks, conferences etc in order to update their knowledge, nor are they empowered or confident enough to question the care rendered in their units'.


Below is a message from Dave Woods, also in South Africa, about facility-based 'learning communities of nurses (and doctors) who can take responsibility and manage their own professional growth and continuing education'.

It would be interesting to hear more examples of such groups in practice. How can effective groups be supported? How can those in positions of authority be encouraged to introduce them?

From: "Dave Woods, South Africa" <pepcourse@mweb.co.za>

To: "CHIFA - Child Health and Rights" <CHIFA@dgroups.org>

Subject: [chifa] Quality Health Care for Children [6]

Dear All

So many of the challenges in learning, understanding and leadership that Ruth Davidge emphasises in hospitals that are not supported by formal training and audit can be remedied by establishing learning communities of nurses (and doctors) who can take responsibility and manage their own professional growth and continuing education. This widely used and evaluated method of self-help tuition can be accessed through local study clubs using the freely available course books on the open-access Bettercare website (https://bettercare.co.za/learn). There is no reason why most maternal and newborn services should not have the benefit of good training.

Best wishes, Prof Dave Woods

CHIFA Profile: Dave Woods is Emeritus Professor in Neonatal Medicine at the School of Child and Adolescent Health, University of Cape Town, South Africa. He is Chairman of the Perinatal Education Trust and Eduhealthcare, both not-for-profit non-government organisations that develop appropriate self-help distance learning material for doctors and nurses who care for pregnant women and their children in under-resourced communities. He has 30 years experience as a clinical neonatologist, with particular interests in perinatal care and training of health professionals. He is currently developing paper-based continuing learning material in maternal care, newborn care, child health, and care of adults and children with HIV/AIDS. He is also participating in the design and development of wind-up appropriate health technology for poor countries. www.pepcourse.co.za pepcourse AT mweb.co.za


Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org