The Trust needed to deliver mandatory training in a way that would not require staff to leave their work location for any more time than necessary. Mandatory training can include information such governance, treating people with respect, some clinical knowledge such as the assessment of pressure ulcers, through to working with children and adolescents.
A dispersed workforce has also meant that it is beneficial to deliver training via distance learning in addition to classroom-based methods. Most CPFT employees are based in the cities of Cambridge or Peterborough and valuable time can be lost away from patients if staff are traveling to and from training centers.
Learning at the right time and place
E-Learning is without a doubt an effective way for the Trust to deliver training. But, back in 2010, the learning and development team was struggling to develop learning content hosted on its intranet. The content management task as well as the reporting of the learning activities were complicated and time consuming. CPFT decided to purchase CrossKnowledge’s learning management system (LMS) and its content authoring tool Mohive.
Now staff can take an e-Learning course of training from any computer that suits them. That could be at home or in any work location. The Trust has also developed e-Learning suites in Cambridge and Peterborough to give added flexibility to those staff wishing to study onsite. Of course, there will still be a training requirement for certain physical skills where it remains necessary for people to attend courses in person. The availability of e-Learning for some training frees up time so that team has more time to deliver training in physical skills.
The Trust has produced a massive 104 e-Learning modules in the three years since it implemented Mohive. It published 56 modules in just six months in the first half of 2013 and has created a total of 218 hours of e-Learning. As Aja Rennie, e-Learning Content Developer at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust explains, “One of the major remits of the NHS is that we be cost effective. Anything we can do that will help us be more efficient without negatively impacting practice is welcome.”
Aja Rennie adds, “CPFT has to prioritize speedy development of resources and keep costs down. We decided to keep content as simple and straightforward as possible. We are looking to evolve the assessment process to include some scenarios and case studies, as there is good evidence that these elements help learning and improving practice.”
The Trust also developed a module of common slides allowing it to reuse content easily. Often the Trust provides similar training for clinical and non-clinical staff that just has to be tweaked to reflect the needs of the two groups. For example, it has developed an infection control module that has two versions – one for clinical staff and one for non-clinical staff. It also developed customized templates that expand on standard templates to meet its specific needs.
By working with the CPFT’s content creators, the Trust was able to collaborate with subject matter experts across the organization. Around 50 reviewers collaborate on the Mohive portal. The Trust has also developed its own brief “how to write e-learning” guide for subject experts who have previously taught in person. For example, the use of language needs to be different to replace the emphasis and inflection and body language that would contribute to learning in a classroom situation.
Onwards and upwards
Enthusiasm for e-Learning is still growing even with the successful uptake of courses. Subject matter experts, e-Learning content developers and learners are all now working successfully on Mohive. Many younger workers are familiar with e-Learning as they experienced it while in education and actively prefer this way of learning.
Now the Trust is looking to the future. It wants to help NHS workers use e-Learning tools not just to improve their practice but to improve their career and make the NHS a better place. It is working closely with CrossKnowledge on the development of the next version of Mohive and is looking forward to introducing new features that will enable e-Learning on mobile devices.