Imperial launches free online public health courses for NHS staff

Avatar photo
By Maxine Myers May 12, 2022

Imperial has launched three free massive open online courses (MOOCs) on public health for all NHS staff.

The MOOCs – Participatory approaches in public health specialisation, Introduction to quality improvements in healthcare  and Using data for healthcare  – are designed to build and strengthen public health and quality improvement skills among healthcare professionals and address potential gaps in knowledge among NHS staff.

The courses will explore why participatory approaches, such as making healthcare delivery more inclusive and engaging with relevant communities, can better assist in meeting the population’s needs and solving certain health-related challenges.

They will also help participants gain an understanding of the social and cultural context in which public health programmes exist.  Content relating to quality improvement in healthcare will equip participants with practical skills for improving health systems.

Partnership working

The courses are being run in partnership with Coursera – a global online learning platform- and form part of Imperial College London’s Global Master of Public Health programme. NHS staff enrolled on the courses will also be able to gain a certificate free of charge once they complete the courses.

The courses have been designed by Professor Helen Ward, Clinical Professor of Public Health at Imperial College London, Dr Thomas Woodcock, Senior Research Fellow in the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, and Dr Bob Klaber, Consultant General paediatrician and Director of Strategy, Research and Innovation at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

Professor Helen Ward said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact have brought into sharp focus the importance of public health. These courses can help NHS staff develop knowledge and practical skills to involve patients and the public in research and quality improvement in healthcare, and how to understand and use health data. The courses are relevant for clinical and non-clinical staff, and will help them respond to future public health challenges. These free courses in partnership with Coursera will give NHS staff the opportunity to learn from world-class academics in this area and to further enhance their skills.”

Dr Thomas Woodcock added:

“Our courses will showcase to NHS participants how data and evidence is utilised to identify areas of improvement in public health, and in health services, and the importance of using data in evaluating change.

Research is vital to addressing public health issues and these courses will give participants insights into methods for applying research findings to drive improvements in health and care.”

Anthony Tattersall, Vice President for EMEA at Coursera, said: “Throughout the pandemic, Coursera has enabled hundreds of thousands of learners across the world to learn more about public health and to develop job-relevant skills. We’re honoured to be able to further these efforts by bringing skills-first learning to the NHS – a world-class health service – in collaboration with Imperial – a world-class university.”

NHS staff interested in enrolling on the programme can do this via the Coursera link