Interreg 2 Mers Seas Zeeën "Dignity in Care"

A project in the Interreg IV A 2 “Mers Seas Zeeën Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013" Leen Stevens, project leader Dignity in Care, KAHO St-Lieven, Ghent (BE) Dignity in Care is an INTERREG IVA 2 ‘Mers Seas Zeeën’ project. During a 3 year period ( from 1/7/2011 until 30/6/2014) project partners from Lille, Dorset, Zeeland and Flanders work together to enhance the ability of ethical reflection and practice by students and professionals in health and social care organisations in the cross-border region by experience based learning in a sTimul: care-ethics lab.

The sTimul lab provides a fully equipped care environment, where care professionals and students can experience by simulation during 2 days and 1 night the impact of care at first hand. The focus is the manner in which care is provided. It's about attitude and not technical and clinical skills, which are accepted as necessary. After the simulation they reflect in group on their experiences, coached by an ethicist. In the project the participants will also have the opportunity to share and to put into practice what they have learnt during the sTimul experience. The exchanging of experiences and good practices is possible by regional networking events, cross-border study visits and the virtual communication platform. An international group of experts in care ethics is working together to evaluate the project process and outcomes. The 'sTimul experience' as an educational concept has been developed in the sTimul: care-ethics lab in Moorsele (BE). It operates during the project time in an international context and is enriched with the expertise of the cross-border partners: care ethics by the Catholic University of Lille (FR), patient-centered-care by ZorgSaam Zeeuws-Vlaanderen and the University of Applied Science in Zeeland (NL), and the concept of Dignity Champions and Care Ambassadors by Partners in Care, located in East Dorset District Council (UK).

KAHO Sint-Lieven (BE) is leading the project. More than 250 students and professional care providers from different care-settings of the cross border region are involved. They are the target group in the project, as well as tutors and trainers in health and social care and stakeholders on institutional and on governmental level that work with elderly and care dependent people. Stakeholder organizations can integrate the outcomes of the project in their quality management systems. Policy makers are invited to adapt existing procedures and legislation concerning quality management systems. It is the way in which 'Dignity in Care' will lead to an improvement in the quality of health and social care in the INTERREG IVA 2Seas cross-border region.

The project Dignity in Care is now half-way, providing 24 separate training courses run in sTimul care-ethics facilities in Belgium and the Netherlands. In the presentation we would like to present the concept of the sTimul-training sessions, as well as first evaluation of health and social care professionals and students that participated in the project. For more information, please contact Leen Stevens or consult the Dignity in Care website.