Teaching specialists have teamed up with the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) to create a unique Healthcare Education programme for all staff who teach: doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and pharmacists. By strengthening teamwork and mutual understanding as well as improving teaching skills at the hospital, the collaboration is driving improvements in patient care and patient safety.

Healthcare educators at the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) have expanded their teaching skills to benefit patients’ care through a fruitful collaboration between the Institute of Education’s Professor Helen Bilton and the RBH’s Dr Andrew Jacques.

The University partnership with educators at the hospital has co-created a PGCert Healthcare Education programme. It is open to all healthcare practitioners who teach others, covering a wide range of learning episodes from the ad hoc to structured classroom experiences, using a variety of educational tools including simulation.

Now in its third year, an impact survey shows that mutual understanding is now stronger between the different professionals who’ve completed the course – from anaesthetists to midwives, working across specialisms from oncology to intensive care.

Getting ‘under the bonnet’ of what makes a good educator has been key to its success. First attendees consider what works for them as learners before considering how to change others’ behaviour. They work in multidisciplinary teams, utilising bespoke learning materials funded by the Health Innovation Partnership, including video materials, simulations and case studies, gaining mutual understanding along the way.

This collaboration combines the expertise of teachers, healthcare educators and the online courses team. Their next mission is to improve communication in healthcare, spurred by the conclusion of a recent UK government maternity service review that ‘staff who work together must train together’. New research will look to boost communication via simulations of good and bad practice and conversation-provoking materials to drive change.

“Opened my eyes into how others learn and how I can improve my ability to teach.”

“The multidisciplinary nature of the course is a huge positive.” — Course students

Judges' comment

“An excellent project based with on a trusted and still-developing relationship with the Royal Berkshire Hospital which has clearly benefitted both parties and been built to be sustainable and of continual benefit to those involved.”

Project name: The PGCert Healthcare Education Team: Working together to solve problems


  • Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • University of Reading Online Courses Team


  • Health Innovation Partnership