A new e-learning tool has been launched to better support NHS clinicians in how to meet the diverse needs of all patients and families.

The new learning resource, entitled Cultural Competence, aims to support clinicians in the NHS to gain knowledge and understanding of the issues around culture and health; and how this might influence health care outcomes.

Funded by Health Education North Central East London (HENCEL) and developed from work initially undertaken as part of the Mary Seacole Awards, the new resource has been created to improve communication between patients and clinicians and enhance staff confidence in navigating and responding to the varied needs of their patients.

Cultural competence supports the provision of quality and safe health services and this e-learning tool aims to highlight the key issues relating to culture which may influence the uptake of health care and treatment options.

The resource, developed by Health Education England’s e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) programme, includes animation, interactive activities and opportunities for self-reflection and evaluation.

There are three sessions in total:

The first two sessions are aimed at all professional groups.

  • The first session aims to describe what is meant by ‘culture’ and why it is important for health professionals to be aware of how this can impact health.
  • The second session describes cultural competence and its importance for health professionals working across cross-cultural situations.

The third session is an additional resource specifically aimed at midwives.

  • This session looks at the importance of cultural competence in the context of maternity care and aims to help health care professionals support and meet the needs of a changing population.It was developed through exploratory and development work examining midwives’ knowledge, understanding and experiences of providing culturally sensitive care as well as the needs of black and minority ethnic service users’ and their experiences of maternity service provision.