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Coursera partners with Imperial College London to upskill UK’s NHS workforce 

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Coursera, Inc, one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, today announced that it is partnering with Imperial College London to provide three free online courses for all NHS workers, to equip the UK’s healthcare service with the skills needed to maintain a world-class level of care and meet future public health challenges.

The courses – Participatory Approaches in Public Health, Introduction to Quality Improvements in Healthcare, and Using Data for Healthcare Improvement – are designed to drive quality improvement among healthcare professionals, and help address knowledge gaps among NHS staff. 

Through this partnership, NHS workers will explore how participatory approaches can make healthcare delivery more inclusive. Each course will enable healthcare professionals to engage with relevant communities, critique the role of social-cultural factors in health contexts, and design an approach to public health challenges which are participatory in nature. High-quality content will also equip participants with the practical knowledge required to improve health systems.

The offerings will form part of Imperial College London’s Global Master of Public Health programme. Also offered via Coursera, this completely online Master’s program provides busy professionals the opportunity to learn from faculty who are shaping global policy at one of the world’s top ten universities. For example, this includes researchers who are leading the fight against the Ebola virus. 

The programmes have been designed by Professor Helen Ward, Clinical Professor of Public Health at Imperial College London, Dr Thomas Woodcock, Senior Research Fellow in the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, and Dr Bob Klaber, Director of Strategy, Research and Innovation at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Enrolled NHS staff will receive free official certification upon completion, ensuring they receive the recognised credentials required to support professional development. 

Professor Helen Ward said: “The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact have brought into sharp focus the importance of public health. These courses can help NHS staff develop knowledge and practical skills to involve patients and the public in research and quality improvement in healthcare, and how to understand and use health data. The courses are relevant for clinical and non-clinical staff, and will help them respond to future public health challenges. These free courses in partnership with Coursera will give NHS staff the opportunity to learn from world-class academics in this area, and further enhance their skills.”

Dr Thomas Woodcock said: “Our courses will showcase to NHS participants how data and evidence is utilised to identify areas of improvement in public health, and in health services, and the importance of using data in evaluating change. Research is vital to addressing public health issues and these courses will give participants insights into methods for applying research findings to drive improvements in health and care.”

Anthony Tattersall, Vice-President of EMEA at Coursera, said:

“Throughout the pandemic, Coursera has enabled hundreds of thousands of learners across the world to learn more about public health and to develop job-relevant skills. We’re honoured to be able to further these efforts by bringing skills-first learning to the NHS – a world-class health service – in collaboration with Imperial – a world-class university.”

Coursera currently supports the skills development of 2.6 million UK learners, of whom over 75,000 – a 211% year-on-year increase – have taken at least one of Coursera’s twenty Entry-Level Professional Certificates – which provide learners with job-relevant skills from industry leaders including Meta, IBM, and Google.

NHS staff interested in enrolling to enhance skill proficiency can do so here

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