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Humanising Healthcare programme recognised by Global Citizenship prize

15 Oct 2021

Our humanising healthcare programme that combines healthcare learning with community engagement was recently recognised by the prestigious Talloires Network MacJannet prize for Global Citizenship - reaching third place in the 2021 international competition

MacJannet Prize

The MacJannet prize was set up to recognise examples of pioneering ‘learning through doing’ – or service-learning as it is also known as.

Humanising healthcare supports dentistry, pharmacy and optometry students to deliver essential healthcare and healthcare education to our communities as part of their curriculum, helping create socially responsible healthcare professionals of tomorrow.

Since 2001, approximately 200,000 people, including 3,000 school pupils have been served by our students through the programme.

The Manchester approach was pioneered in dentistry by Professor Raj Ariyaratnam, with around 1,000 dental students treating 170,000 patients over 10 years, serving those that are often most in need or where accessing NHS services is challenging.

During the past three years, with the support of Dr David Allison (pharmacy), this model has been extended, with Healthcare in High Schools student leaders giving peer education in health topics such as wellbeing, smoking and sexual and mental health. With the guidance of Dr Hema Radhakrishnan and her team, our optometry students have established their own service learning centre that provides a community eye care service.

A school student on the Healthcare in High Schools programme said: “Because they [the students] are not much older than us it feels like we connected.”

Megan Cotcher, a recent pharmacy graduate said: "Service Learning was a great way to refresh our knowledge on current public health topics in a way that also develops our communication skills."

And feedback from a client (LGBTQ+ service) commented: "An excellent service; accessing healthcare as a trans person can be challenging; having the service located in a safe space helped me to overcome that barrier and access dental care for the first time since coming out!"

During the pandemic, the students were able to adapt their learning to online engagement - providing accurate public health information for Chinese and Tamil-speaking Manchester communities and for North Sri Lanka.

Professor Ariyaratnam adds: “In pioneering the ‘Humanising Healthcare’ concept, we have successfully interwoven service-learning pedagogy into the health care curriculum and positively interlocked the student learning experience with helping to combat health inequalities in Manchester and further afield.

"We sincerely thank the Talloires Global Network of Universities for recognising our students’ successful community engagement, which is very much in alignment with social responsibility, one of our University’s core strategic goals.

"Our future plan is to further develop and grow our students’ civic engagement programmes both locally and globally.” 

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility: “Raj has been at the forefront of what universities around the world call ‘service-learning’. Innovations to the curriculum have enhanced students’ employability, satisfaction with learning and understanding of social responsibility.

"This prize is a fitting recognition of Raj and colleagues’ and our students’ incredible impact addressing health inequalities and brings real honour to the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health and the University’s global reputation as a leader in social responsibility."