Cultural Competence - e-Learning for Healthcare
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This programme is in partnership with...
  • The Royal College of Midwives

About the Cultural Competence programme

The Cultural Competence e-learning tool is made up of three 20-30 minute learning sessions. The purpose of the tool is 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.

Being Culturally Competent is not only about respecting and appreciating the cultural contexts of patients’ lives. Neither is it a one-size-fits-all approach – it’s about understanding the way we deliver health care and responding to the needs of our diverse population.

Cultural competence is a key aspect of providing both quality and safe care. This is why health professionals need to be aware and gain understanding of the key issues relating to culture and how this may influence the uptake of health care and treatment options. Developing this knowledge and understanding will influence the way we give care and could have an impact on reducing disparities in health care outcomes.

This e-learning tool provides a resource of information and opportunities for professionals to reflect and review their own understanding and practice. Completing this e-learning tool will enable you to gain insight and confidence in navigating and responding to the varied needs of your patients. This tool can support continued professional development and can be included in your portfolios for revalidation.

The Cultural Competence e-learning tool has been developed by Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare and is provided free to all healthcare professionals. The tool has been developed in collaboration with the Royal College of Midwives and other key stakeholders.

More information

With the UK population becoming increasingly diverse, it is important that health care professionals do not minimise the cultural context of an individual’s health.

We need to work in a way which is inclusive and values diversity. Developing a greater awareness of diverse cultural beliefs can help healthcare professionals in meeting the diverse needs of all patients and families.

In the video below the Chief Nurse of England, Professor Jane Cummings, explains why developing cultural competency is important.

Meet the team

  • Katie De Freitas

    Katie De Freitas

    Quality Improvement Lead, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust
  • Janet Fyle

    Janet Fyle MBE

    Policy Advisor, The Royal College of Midwives
  • Laura Serrant

    Professor Laura Serrant

    Professor of Community and Public Health Nursing in the  Faculty of Education, Health and Well-being, University of Wolverhampton
  • Mark Johnson

    Professor Mark Johnson

    Professor Emeritus of Diversity and Health, De Montfort  University, and Honorary Visiting Professor of Diversity at  Coventry University
  • Gail Johnson

    Gail Johnson

    Professional Advisor for Education, The Royal College of Midwives
  • Karen Walker - ID

    Karen Walker

    Project Manager, HEE e-Learning for Healthcare

How to access

There are three sessions in total. The first two sessions are aimed at all professional groups. The third session is an additional resource specifically aimed at midwives.

  • 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.
  • 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.

In order to access any e-LfH programme, you will need an e-LfH account. If you do not have one, then you can register by selecting the Register button below.

Register >

If you already have an account with e-LfH, then you can enrol on to the Cultural Competence programme by logging in to the e-LfH Hub, selecting My Account > Enrolment and selecting the programme. You can then access the programme immediately in the My e-Learning section.

NHS healthcare staff in England

The Cultural Competence programme is also available to NHS healthcare staff via the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). Accessing this e-Learning via ESR means that your completions will transfer with you throughout your NHS career.

Further details are available here.

e-LfH is a Health Education England Programme in partnership with the NHS and Professional Bodies