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Title: Power and politics in academy land : a case study of 2 NHS/HEI learning academies
Author: Fletcher, Ian Philip
ISNI:       0000 0004 2668 8237
Awarding Body: University of the West of England
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2008
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In 2002, in response to both Government and regional health and social care policy, the Avon Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Workforce Development Confederation (WDC) of the National Health Service (NHS) collaborated with local partners in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to develop seven NHSIHEI learning academies. Although the academy concept was originally conceived as a vehicle for supporting increases in numbers of medical students, it was quickly developed by the WDC with the specific aim to deliver necessary direction and infra-structures to underpin wholescale workforce remodelling and life-long learning in the local health and social care community. Each academy housed an academy management team including a medical Dean for undergraduate medicine and non-medical Deans in both nursing and midwifery and the professions allied to medicine (AHPs). Collectively, the Deans were charged with a prime responsibility of delivering interprofessional education (lPE) against the WDC's strategic plan. This thesis is an account of what happened in two of the seven academies. It utilises the qualitative case study approach as advocated by Stake (1995). The initial aim of the case study was to examine the strategies that the Deans employed in carrying out their role. The thesis is contextualised against literature in a number of key areas. These include relevant Government and local policy. The literature review also draws out aspects from the IPE evidence base such as 'The Contact Hypothesis' (Allport 1979), (Carpenter 1995), in addition, examining the creation and exercise of power by health and social care professionals (Friedson 1970) and seminal work by Fullan (1993) on the management of change. As the case study unfolds, in the Stake manner of articulating 'what the case is and what the case is not' the thesis reveals that actually the case is not about delivering IPE within the academies. Contrary to the WDC aim, and what is seen to be the case, is that a number of barriers arose rendering attempts to deliver IPE ineffective. Some of these barriers originated from what Fullan (1993) would contend as the chaotic and unpredictable change processes inherent with the creation of new organisations. Others, had origins rooted in issues of profession identity and power. As these barriers became embedded, communication processes became more fragmented, with the consequence that some individuals became increasingly frustrated and tendered their resignations. As the time of writing (2007 I 2008) there had been no implementation of wide-spread IPE initiatives across any of the seven learning academies. The thesis follows a traditional structure. The first chapter analyses academy development against the context of national and local policy. The second chapter considers relevant aspects from the literature. The third chapter in turn, sets out the nature of case study and presents and justifies the approach, design and methods within the research. The fourth chapter is the initial presentation and analysis of data. The final chapter further analyses and discusses the results against a consideration of the exercise of power within the change process. Implications for future IPE within the locality are considered and suggestions are offered as to how the challenges presently encountered within the academies might be overcome in the future. The thesis uses a narrative reflective style throughout, within the Stake tradition of interpretive inquiry. As such, the thesis is not only the story of the research and revelation of the case but also, in some small part, the story of the researcher within the field.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available