New healthcare funding awarded to address future work needs

Projects looking to address future work needs and deliver bespoke, live simulated learning sessions are amongst the successful applicants for the inaugural project funding announced today by the London Healthcare Education Group (LHEG).

The projects, based across six of London’s leading healthcare education providers, will facilitate the delivery of sustainable high-quality, evidence-based education, and support current and future workforce needs, including those of learning disability service users.

The funding, designed to support innovative healthcare education in London though collaboration, has been made available to members of LHEG, a key division of London Higher. Successful projects will be designed and delivered between at least two universities, or a university and a partner organisation, and aim to achieve measurable outputs.

The projects will report back to the London Healthcare Education Group in July 2023.

Dr Diana Beech, CEO of London Higher said;

“It is fantastic to see the LHEG funding winners announced today. Across London, healthcare education professionals are coming together to work on issues big and small, and are joining forces to overcome similar challenges. We hope that the funding awarded today will go some way to helping LHEG members address the future needs of our healthcare sector and NHS, and ensure that London’s healthcare education sector remains central to innovating provision both in the capital and country as a whole.”

Fiona Edwards Deputy Dean (London) College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare University of West London said;

“We are delighted to have been successful in our bid for the LHEG project funding. The project, in partnership with three other London higher education institutions and the Baked Bean company is two fold and will support 1). bespoke live simulated learning sessions, for third year pre-registration nursing students (Adult, Child, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities) and 2). the development of a filmed resource which partner institutions can utilise with midwifery and AHP students and share with practice placement partners.”

Professor Claire Thurgate, Head of School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Kingston University said;

“Delivering high-quality healthcare to all is paramount. This is why we are pleased to have been awarded funding though LHEG’s project fund a HE healthcare workforce pipeline through the development of a single contract which will allow individuals to work seamlessly across practice and higher education”.

Notes to editors;

The successful projects are based at;

  • Kingston University London and the University of East London; and
  • University of West London alongside the University of Greenwich, the University of Hertfordshire, Kingston University London and St George’s, University of London respectively

Further information about the LHEG, its members and LHEG funding can be found here. Alternatively, you can contact Jenny Wetherill on

London Higher is the umbrella body promoting and supporting higher education in London. It comprises three divisions, including the London Healthcare Education Group (LHEG) for providers of higher education allied to health across the capital.

Details of Successful Projects:

Kingston University London;

Within healthcare education there is a need for an appropriately qualified workforce to facilitate the delivery of sustainable high quality, evidence-based education which supports current and future workforce needs. However, in reality, Higher Education Institutes (HEI) across London are struggling to recruit and retain academic staff. These experiences reflect the findings of the Council of Dean’s academic staffing census (2019) where the main recruitment reasons included a mismatch between job requirements and applicant skills and/or a mismatch between job requirements and teaching experience; and low application numbers for part-time and fixed-term positions.

In London members particularly noted: the geographic density of universities increased the level of competition for academic staff; the high cost of living, and housing in particular, was a barrier to attracting staff either to come to work in London or to choose an academic over a practice position where salaries are higher.

Working in collaboration, Kingston University and the University of East London will address the census’ recommendation to encourage students/graduates with an interest in teaching to stay in academia and help them to obtain clinical experience as part of that pathway. Clinical academic careers are not a new concept as many HEIs support secondments (paid and unpaid), guest lecturers or joint posts. The challenge to secondments, as identified in the Council of Deans census (2019) and feedback from individuals, is that such roles impact on their sense of belonging and professional development as they have two contracts and often find it difficult to prioritise roles and expectations.

The aim and outcome of this project is to:

  • understand how a single contract for clinical academics has been developed;
  • work with HR and legal departments and appropriate others to develop a single contract;
  • develop a job description and advert;
  • undertake a literature review on the transition from practice to higher education to inform an evidence based toolkit which will include a single contract, job description, advert and a framework to enable a co-joint early clinical academic career.

University of West London

UWL (Lead HEI), have partnered with the Baked Bean theatre company and three London HEIs*, to deliver:

  • Bespoke live simulated learning sessions, for third year pre-registration nursing students (Adult, Child, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities), focusing on the needs of learning disability service users.
  • Filmed resources with actors from the Baked Bean company, that can be shared with the partner HEIs, in order to facilitate sessions for all healthcare** students in their School/Faculty. This resource can also be shared with the four HEIs practice placement partners in the NHS and PVI sector.
    *University of Greenwich, University of Hertfordshire and Kingston University and St George’s, University of London

**Nursing, Midwifery, AHPs

The recent Oliver McGowan case (2022) has highlighted the need for standardised training, drawing on people with lived experience and subject matter experts, to ensure all healthcare professionals receive learning disability and autism training appropriate to their role. Students on healthcare courses across the four London HEIs will translate this learning into their clinical practice across London. The sustainable resource developed from this project, will support ongoing training for both healthcare students and clinicians.

Brief description of the The Baked Bean Company:

The Baked Bean Company has been supporting, coaching, and enabling people with learning disabilities to get more from their lives since 1997. Using improvisation and verbatim theatre they create performances, workshops and films that educate, entertain and inspire. Baked Bean pride themselves on devising and performing work that makes the voices of people with learning disabilities heard, delivering performances that shatter misconceptions, challenge stereotypes, and push the boundaries of society’s view of learning disability.