#SHCR: An inspiring, free course that will help you change health care for the better

When I first read Sonia’s post about the School for Health and Care Radicals (SHCR) a year ago, little did I know that I would be signing up for one of the most inspiring educational experiences of my ten years as a doctor, resulting in unexpected personal and professional growth.

“Anyone who wants to bring about change has to be ready to break the rules. But in health and social care, that can be really difficult. The art of rocking the boat while staying in it is something it seems no-one is ready to help you learn.” – School for Health and Care Radicals



Working on my SHCR workbook – over coffee

“The School” is back for 2016, commencing February 4th. You can find out more details and enrol at the SHCR website – the format seems similar to last year’s School, consisting of five modules over five weeks. It is free, entirely online and backed by the UK’s National Health Service.

Resources are available in various formats – that suit different types of learners – including weekly workbooks, webinars, social media fora and links to suggested reading and videos. Don’t be intimidated by this – the time investment can be as little as a few hours per week, and it is possible to do the School at your own pace if you’re busy some of the weeks. Also, don’t worry if you can’t attend the live webinars (the timing on Thursday afternoons GMT is unlikely to suit Australians or New Zealanders) – I only managed to participate in one live webinar last year and I don’t think it diminished my experience. Webinar recordings are available on the School website, YouTube and Slideshare. I found it quite useful to be able to rewind and pause the recording.


One of the best aspects of the SHCR was ability to connect with local and international participants. We were encouraged to have an “RCT (randomised coffee trial)” and were matched with a stranger – my RCT (via Skype) was with a project officer working for a non-government mental health organisation, on the other side of the country. For participants interested in Palliative Care, there was a #SHCRPalliative group. Some participants had SHCR groups within their workplace – I wish I could have done this but was unable to convince any of my workmates at the time. Maybe this year!

We developed an active #SHCRANZ Australian and New Zealand Twitter community who continue to have regular Tweetchats and share resources of interest. Since completing the SHCR, I have even met some of my #SHCRANZ comrades in person! I felt that my SHCR experience was enhanced by my participation in tweetchats and the SHCR Facebook group, although the School would still be very valuable without these.

Obviously, not everyone will have the same experience as me. In my case, the School coincided with a number of other inspiring or life-changing experiences, such as starting my research fellowship, starting at a brand new hospital, working on my Change Day pledge to break down health care silos, and attending an NCDFREE Bootcamp*. However, if my experience sounds too good to believe, check out the results of an independent evaluation of the SHCR – I am not the only one with superlatives to share!



I think the secret to SHCR’s success is an excellent, dedicated team led by Helen Bevan, combined with a diverse, passionate international community of SHCR participants, or “radicals”.

“If you’ve been frustrated by having to navigate stifling hierarchies to get the changes you know are needed, or criticised for being a dissenter, disruptive or even divisive, then the School is for you. It’s more than just a school — it’s a platform for learning, and a community of people like you.” – School for Health and Care Radicals

I whole-heartedly recommend the SHCR if you’re interested in:

  • improving health care;
  • providing person-centred care;
  • becoming an effective change agent;
  • bringing kindness and humanity back into health;
  • building your own resilience;
  • rekindling your passion for health care; or
  • learning how to implement some of the radical ideas you’ve had for your health care workplace (or the place where you receive care).

Do you think you’ll enrol? If so, please comment below. It would be great to form a palliative care SHCR community. Also, please comment and share your experiences if you’ve participated in previous years.

*NCDFREE Bootcamp is an advocacy and innovation bootcamp aiming to address the global impact of non-communicable diseases. Not one of those sweaty bootcamps where people shout at you to do burpees.

2nd and 3rd images courtesy of School for Health and Care Radicals.

This post is my opinion and was not solicited.

7 thoughts on “#SHCR: An inspiring, free course that will help you change health care for the better

  1. Yes, I have just enrolled, looks great! I’m an RN working on the mid-north coast of NSW in general community health including palliative care and would love to be part of a palliative care SHCR community.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Elissa and Libby,
    I found the #SHCR a profound experience too. When trying to achieve change in our health care system, sometimes I feel a bit isolated and alone. But in the school of health and care radicals, I found “naughty” people – people working at the edge of the system to change how we deliver care for the better – all over the world!
    I’d encourage everyone to have a look and consider signing up, I will certainly be participating again this year ( that’s how good it was….)

    Liked by 1 person

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