Learning organisations: the challenge of finding a safe space in a climate of accountability

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The effects of health policy reforms over a twenty-five year period have changed the NHS as a place in which to work and learn. Some of these changes have had unintentional consequences for learning in the workplace. A recent King’s Fund contribution to quality improvement debates included an extensive review of NHS policies encouraging change ‘from within’ the NHS and renewed calls to develop learning organisations there. I draw upon an action research project designed to develop learning organisations in primary care to locate quality improvement debates amid the realities of practice. The project identified key challenges primary care practices encountered to protect time and space for this form of work based learning, even when they recognised the need for it and wanted to engage in it. Implications for policy makers, primary care practices and health professional educationalists are identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-74
JournalEducation for Primary Care
Issue number2
Early online date5 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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