What is Project ECHO?
St Luke’s is proud to be part of Project ECHO, but what does this mean? Project ECHO is just one of the ways that our incredible team of healthcare professionals are able to not only keep providing the best possible palliative care to those in Sheffield, but to also empower and educate other care professionals all over the country to do the same.
Project ECHO, which stands for ‘Extension of Community Healthcare Outcomes’, is an innovative and new way of learning in healthcare. ECHO is an online tele-mentoring network which brings healthcare organisations together via video link, to form an online community, share best practice and support each other.
Project ECHO enables:
- Specialist training to be delivered free of charge
- Sessions can be attended by staff without having to leave their place of work
- Opportunity for staff to discuss challenging cases with specialist teams and other colleagues in similar organisations
- Improvement in the competency and confidence of staff in managing challenging situations
How does ECHO work?
Training and education is led by a specialist ‘Hub’ to multiple other healthcare sites, for example Care Homes, and GPs, to share knowledge and expertise through virtual meetings, teaching sessions and case presentations. Together, ECHO members can discuss particular cases which they have found challenging to manage and determine the best course of action together.
Project ECHO’s mission is to make medical knowledge as accessible as possible for people all over the world and fosters a spirit of learning from each other in a safe environment.
What role does St Luke's play in Project ECHO?
St Luke’s is a Superhub for Project ECHO which means that we are one of the specialist hubs training other organisations to become hubs themselves whilst also delivering our own sessions to other organisations. We are proud to be one of the three ECHO Superhubs in the UK working to help other organisations and further extend the ECHO network.
At St Luke’s, we deliver tailored programmes of training to help develop health and social care professionals build confidence in their delivery of care in many specialities including end of life care, learning disabilities and autism, palliative junior doctor training and bereavement.
Through this, we have trained a number of other organisations across the country to become ECHO Hubs themselves, and deliver a number of education programmes within Sheffield and across Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
A typical ECHO session is 60- 90 minutes long.
A topic expert delivers a 20-minute teaching session with discussion. The participants then discuss current experiences they face and determine the best course of action together through case presentations.
Featuring real life scenarios, case based learning and a variety of interactive methods, this is how Project ECHO creates a community of practice that supports service delivery, sharing of knowledge and support to staff.
Video courtesy Project ECHO
St Luke’s joined the Project ECHO community in 2016, successfully supporting the improvement of patient healthcare related outcomes in a range of healthcare settings.
In 2020 the world changed as the Coronavirus pandemic began to take its hold everywhere. Sheffield was no exception and it became increasingly clear that Project ECHO could build an even stronger network of support during a time when many healthcare professionals were under increasing pressure.
Throughout the past year, St Luke’s adapted ECHO to provide support to care homes, nursing homes, residential homes, primary care teams and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service to provide a safe and supportive environment for healthcare professionals that are looking after some of the most vulnerable people in our wider community.
“At St Luke’s we are very proud of the work we are doing to share expertise and support our colleagues in tackling complex issues. By bringing many different people together and attracting different professions to the forum, we can offer the highest level of advice by pooling our knowledge and expertise."
Lynne Ghasemi, St Luke’s Senior Sister & ECHO Team Lead
“It’s rewarding to share stories and learn from others. Every session you pick up something different as there is always something new to learn.”
Care Home staff member
If you or your organisation is interested in becoming a Hub or joining one of our networks, please contact us at [email protected]
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