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Action learning and the integration of health and social care systems

  • 23 Feb 2023
  • 12:00 - 13:30
  • Online in Zoom

Registration is closed

IFAL Presents

Action learning and the integration
of health and social care systems

by John Edmonstone

IFAL presents John Edmonstone exploring the evolution and application of action learning in healthcare. John will share from his extensive knowledge and experience, delving into the origins of action learning in health care, the challenges of the current healthcare landscape, and how action learning can be used to foster leadership for greater integration of health and social care systems.

Topics covered include:

The origins & growth of action learning in healthcare

Revans' background and political persuasions and his orientation to public service; John's own journey towards action learning, including two encounters with Revans. The notion of healthcare organisations as being "cradled in anxiety". The attractiveness of action learning to people working in healthcare

Present healthcare realities

The aging population with multiple long-term conditions; a shrinking of the talent pool from which healthcare professions recruited; workforce challenges, especially over recruitment and retention; austerity and lack  investment in healthcare leading to depression of income of healthcare staff; a demand of "more for less"' silo working; a short-term crisis focus; growing public expectations; a media spotlight; where action learning is currently used.

Action learning for health and social care

The need to see health and social care as a single system, involving statutory, voluntary and charitable agencies; working across organisational, geographical and political boundaries; learning together into the future - a co-evolutionary approach; action learning as a powerful vehicle for fostering system leadership.

Image of John Edmonstone

John Edmonstone is a leadership, management and organisation development consultant working mostly in the public sector in the UK and internationally and holds an honorary appointment at a UK university.

John has worked with action learning from the late 1970s, largely in healthcare leadership development programmes, and has worked using action learning in Indonesia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

He is the author of three books on action learning and is on the Editorial Board of the Journal, Action Learning: Research & Practice.

Further reading 

Menzies-Lyth, I. (1959) The Functioning of Social Systems as a Defence Against Anxiety: A Report on a Study of the Nursing Service of a General Hospital, in Menzies-Lyth, I. (1988) Containing Anxiety in Institutions: Selected essays: Volume 1, London: Free Association Books,, pp 43-88

Edmonstone, J. (2018) Action Learning in Health, Social and Community Care: Principles, Practices and Resources, Boca Raton: CRC Press

Edmonstone, J. (2019) Systems Leadership in Health and Social Care, Abingdon: Routledge

Edmonstone, J. (2020) Beyond Healthcare Leadership: The Imperative for Health and Social Care Systems, Leadership in Health Services, 33 (4): pp 351-363

Abbott, C., Boak, G., Edmonstone, J., Sanyal, C. & Winterburn, K. (2022) Action Learning and Healthcare: Affinities and Challenges, Action Learning: Research & Practice, 19 (3): pp 269-274 

This event will be recorded and made available to IFAL members in the Members Area of the IFAL website.

Register to receive a confirmation email and Zoom link to this event.

London, UK 12 noon
Paris, France 1pm
Ottawa, Canada 7am
Cape Town, South Africa 2pm
Launceston, Australia 11pm

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