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Tue 10th March
2nd Children’s Hospital Education Specialists Symposium (CHESS - 2)

In today’s healthcare educational environment, we need systems, methods, and materials to evolve and change to meet the needs of tomorrow’s professionals.

As those involved in delivering paediatric healthcare, one of our objectives is to best equip children and young people with the minds and bodies for their future roles and responsibilities as adults. As educational specialists, we need to similarly reflect on how we prepare undergraduates for the future challenges they will face as postgraduate students, NHS staff, and life-long learners in healthcare.

How do undergraduate students learn in the modern world? How should children’s hospitals be responsive to the changing needs of undergraduates across all healthcare-related degrees? How can paediatric centres inspire school leavers and undergraduates to consider careers and postgraduate degrees in child health, or with a child health focus?

We hope to generate discussion and thought on the challenges facing students from the point of leaving secondary school education, through their journey to NHS employment. How do undergraduate students across different healthcare-related degrees learn, develop, and feedback during their children’s hospital and community placements? How does this impact their future learning and career choices?

Here at Alder Hey, we believe in Strong Foundations, Doing the Basics Brilliantly, and Building The Future.  A positive undergraduate experience can be the launch pad for excellence among future postgraduate learners in paediatric healthcare.


Join us for a morning of plenary sessions followed by an afternoon of networking to discover theories, strategies, and opportunities in educating the next generation of the NHS paediatric workforce in a complex, technologically- enhanced, changing world.

Come meet our Higher Educational Institution (HEI) and local community partners, and see educational partnerships in action at Alder Hey Academy, located within Alder Hey Children’s Health Park.

We look forward to March 2020, where we can warmly welcome you to Merseyside, Liverpool, and to Alder Hey: The Land of Remarkable People.

An Undergraduate State of Mind – Provisional Programme

Tuesday 10th March 2020, Institute in the Park, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital


0800 – 0845               REGISTRATION

0845 - 0900                WELCOME


0900 – 1000               Plenary Session 1   

Inspiring school-aged children into healthcare careers

Can children’s hospitals co-ordinate inspiring programmes across multiple healthcare disciplines with the help of external partners?

1000 – 1100               Plenary Session 2               

School leaver to undergraduate: understanding the transition

Educationalists and psychologists from schools, universities, and hospital placements give their views on this important phase

1100 – 1115               BREAK

1115 – 1215                Plenary Session 3

How was the children’s hospital placement for you?

Hearing the views and experiences of current healthcare undergraduate students and their course representatives

1215 – 1300               Plenary Session 4

Why did you choose a child-health postgraduate degree / career?

Hearing from graduates on different career paths (higher degree/employment etc) on what influenced their choice.

1300 - 1400               LUNCH

1400 - 1515               Healthcare Undergraduate Education ‘Marketplace’ – Session 1

                                    8 themed breakout rooms with stalls for networking and discussion                         (see ‘Marketplace – Afternoon sessions’)

1515 – 1530                BREAK

1530 – 1645               Healthcare Undergraduate Education ‘Marketplace’ – Session 2

                                    8 themed breakout rooms with stalls for networking and discussion

(see ‘Marketplace – Afternoon sessions’)

1645 – 1700               CLOSING REMARKS


‘Marketplace’ – Afternoon Sessions

The afternoon will be an unstructured, free-form opportunity for symposium participants, school leavers, HEI partners, and community partners to network.

There will be eight themed breakout rooms across the symposium venue.

The context of the social interaction will be around common themes in undergraduate healthcare education. HEI and community partners will host a ‘market stall’, advertising and demonstrating how they approach each specific healthcare undergraduate issue. Interested participants can explore concepts on a more personalized level with the staff members manning each stall.

Importantly, this ‘marketplace’ also aims to promote specific undergraduate healthcare degrees and higher educational institutions which offer children’s hospital placements as part of their curriculum.

Marketplace Themes:

1.    Widening Participation / Community Engagement

How do we inspire school leavers to consider healthcare careers/degrees?

2.    Selection/Admissions/Recruitment

Once a school leaver applies to study for a healthcare degree, how do we choose which ones to accept?

3.    Curriculum Content: Communication

How do we teach this important cross-disciplinary skill to diverse healthcare undergraduates?

4.    Teaching Methodology: Technology-Enhanced Learning

What innovative technologies are currently being used in undergraduate healthcare education, and what is in the pipeline for the future?

5.    Student Professionalism and Empowerment

How do we encourage healthcare undergraduates to strive for excellence when they are on placement in a children’s hospital? How do we sustain their interest?

6.    Student Feedback

What do healthcare undergraduates feedback about their courses generally?

7.    Student Resilience, Wellbeing, and Morale

What are the common problems facing undergraduate students, and how can children’s hospital staff be sensitive to these?

8.    Transition into postgraduate learning (taught and independent)

What are the common pathways and options facing healthcare graduates?

Representatives from each different HEI and possible community partners will ‘set-up shop’ in one or more of the breakout rooms, so participants get a chance to experience the similarities and differences between parallel undergraduate healthcare degrees.

For further information, please Email:

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