Macmillan Family Matters
Keep it real: the key to delivering important information in sensitive situations
Macmillan was looking for a piece of e-learning that would teach health & social care professionals how to recognise when people affected by cancer may need to seek legal advice about family issues, such as wills and guardianship.
While the learners wouldn’t need to give legal advice, they’d need to answer potentially awkward questions and signpost people to the right sources of advice. The challenge was to get the balance right: not too much legal information, but enough to have a quality conversation and recognise when people might need help.
Our approach was to keep it real with case studies, expert views and practical exercises, to provide as many real-life situations as possible.
With 90 minutes of learning, there was a lot of information to include. So we made sure we got the structure spot-on, with five main topics and three sections that follow the same format within each one.
Each topic begins with ‘In depth’, a section to present the basics up-front. This was supplemented with brief ‘What?’ ‘When?’ and ‘Why?’ pop-ups, as well as expert views from three real healthcare professionals.
The section is based around a realistic case study to illustrate the key concepts and bring the learning to life.
The course isn’t just about spotting when people need help – learners are also taught the soft skills that are needed to have a good quality conversation and signpost people effectively.
The second section, ‘Another view’, provides further case studies, and gives learners a chance to practice spotting different legal issues and correctly advising the people involved.
Finally, we have the ‘Take it further’ section. This leaves learners with an audio comment from one of the three expert healthcare professionals, as well as providing further information and support to help learners feel comfortable applying their newly acquired knowledge to real-life situations.
This Family Matters course allowed learners to feel more confident talking to people involved with cancer about what can often be complex and emotive topics. The course can be accessed by Macmillan professionals, other healthcare professionals and members of the public on Macmillan’s Learn Zone website.
Macmillan was so pleased with the results that they asked us to work with them on a range of subsequent e-learning courses, covering topics such as benefits awareness, information giving, the late effects of cancer, and survivorship.
Not only have we continued to work with Macmillan to create these additional e-learning courses, but Macmillan is also looking for us to further develop the courses so that they can be used by other organisations. This means that even more people can be reached as more learners are given the confidence to discuss sensitive issues as well and we are very proud to be a part of the great ongoing work that Macmillan do.