Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
The NLMS has been fully adopted by the Trust and the Project Team is keen for it to be promoted as a mechanism to modernise training delivery, which would benefit all current and future staff at the Trust. With 700 courses to date accessed by staff, the project has already brought major success, but the Trust will continue to work to place e-learning at the heart of Royal Cornwall’s culture. Their HR Director explains,
“The NLMS has got the modern functionality to give benefits right across the health community and put Cornwall in the forefront of training management in the NHS. It appealed to the Trust as it’s a robust system underpinning many major NHS projects such as Agenda for Change and National Programme for IT as well as the Electronic Staff Record.”
One of the main challenges facing the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust when they decided to implement the NLMS was rolling it out to staff spread across a wide geographical area. With clear communications and effective project management, the Project Team successfully completed its roll-out plan and has advice to share with other Trusts.
- With improvements to the Trust’s IT infrastructure, more training can be delivered through e-learning.
- Learning at all sites throughout the county can be managed remotely
- Integrates with ESR
- NLMS reports highlighting the approach of the expiry dates provide a strategic tool to manage the staff compliance.
Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust piloted the NLMS in July 2009 for Patient and Personal Safety training (statutory and mandatory). The national content was piloted in several areas; X-ray, IT and Anaesthetics. The pilot demonstrated that a reduction in time spent attending training was approximately 40 – 50% compared to classroom based teaching. There was also a positive response from the departments on the flexibility of accessing the content. Therefore it was decided to roll out the NLMS across the Trust.
The project was assisted following a successful bid for funding from the NHS ESR Central Team. The funding has enabled the Trust to appoint a Project Manager and Administrator for a 6 month period allowing all resources to be focused on e-learning and NLMS. This funding has greatly reduced the project implementation timescale and allowed for support to be provided to individuals and their departments. The addition of an administrator to create log-ins and enrol staff has greatly increased the advancement of the project.
To date they have rolled out the NLMS to 350 members of staff and have a clear project plan in place to reach all employees by the end of April 2010. The project plan also includes the issuing of Smart Cards to staff and the regular review and evaluation of staff progress within their departments. There is a need to provide daily support to managers and staff who need assistance in either accessing the NLMS or having basic IT problems.
There have been many lessons learnt in the short time this project has been underway with the most important being the need to have a clear plan to work to. There is also a need to be aware of changes made to any national material and to keep updating staff of this. The biggest challenge to date has been to provide staff with basic computer skills in order for them to access the NLMS.
NHS Bath & North East Somerset
NHS BANES will be starting to roll-out the NLMS in January 2010. Due to a need for basic IT skills training, combined with the recent launch of the new BCS (NHS) Level 1 Award (an upgrade to the NHS EITS qualification), they are looking initially to focus on the use of the NHS ELITE and NHS Health e-learning packages to introduce the NLMS environment to staff. A number of staff groups have been identified as requiring basic IT skills training via a Widening Participation (Bands 1-4) project currently in progress within the Trust and these people will be amongst those initially targeted.
In addition to the basic skills packages, they will also be promoting the use of a number of the mandatory training packages (Fire Safety, Moving and Handling) contained within the NLMS to all staff groups. Due to the disparate nature of the workforce, it is often difficult for staff to attend classroom-based sessions and some external e-learning packages have been used in the past to help with this. The utilisation of the packages available within the NLMS will improve the trusts ability to track and report progress for individuals, and to their managers, as well as promote the use of the ESR system as a tool in the management of staff and their development rather than simply a repository for staff details.
The Trust is also looking to revamp their “Trust Induction” in the New Year to incorporate a number of mandatory training elearning packages currently contained within the NLMS, along with some they would like to produce themselves regarding local policies and procedures. This would allow for a blended learning alternative to what has historically been provided in predominantly classroom-based sessions, again promoting the use of ESR to managers and supporting the flexible working options for staff to enable them to balance priorities for training against the priorities of their job.
Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
North Devon Healthcare Trust was not part of the original National Learning Management System (NLMS) pilot; however, the value of eLearning and the direct reporting functionality to Electronic Staff Record (ESR) data has always been understood and valued. In the summer of 2009, a small project group was set up to look at the feasibility of offering eLearning to members of staff via the ESR. Local eLearning was already available to staff through an eLearning portal setup on the Trust’s network system, this however was not part of a Learning Management System (LMS). Once staff had completed a course they were required to manually print the certificate, the certificates were then sent to the Workforce Development Team who had to enter all the relevant information on to ESR. This proved to be extremely time consuming and resource intensive especially as some members of staff also accessed the national content using the Core Learning Unit (CLU). The Trust had commissioned two external companies to supply other eLearning modules, with four different methods of eLearning and with the reliance on manual entry it proved difficult to keep accurate training records for all staff in one central place and by not renewing a contract with the external learning management eLearning provider the Trust saved £6000.
Northern Devon Healthcare Trust implemented the NLMS on the 1st of April 2010. “Within one month our Trust was in 14th place in the Top 20 Performing Organisations out of 200 NHS organisations using the NLMS. Currently we hold 9th place and, when you consider the small size of our Trust (less than 3000 members of staff), you can appreciate the reason why we are happy but not satisfied with 9th place.” Ken Stafford, Northern Devon Healthcare Trust.
The initial approach for Northern Devon Healthcare Trust was to set up a project team. These key personnel were made up of IT services, the Senior HR Advisor, the ESR Administrator, IT Training, the eLearning Manager, the Head of Workforce Development, the Change Team and the Information Systems Project Manager. The project received positive and proactive support from the Trust Chief Executive and associated Directors.
Testing the system
Initially a few test courses were created and Service Requests (SRs) were raised with McKesson for the Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) adapters to be setup. A small group of individuals purposely chosen for their different locations around the Trust were organised into the role of testers; this group included existing ESR users, non users and some staff with limited keyboard skills. Their role was to run the ‘PC Checker Tool’ which can also be accessed at http://www.esrsupport.co.uk/nlms/ on the computers deemed appropriate for eLearning. This tool checks the PC’s compatibility with eLearning. Once ‘the testers’ had the results they then were requested to forward a screenshot to the project team. This group would also eventually be required to test some short local eLearning courses.
Testing the System Lessons Learned
- For eLearning to track correctly in the Oracle Learning Management (OLM) system, each content server must contain the SCORM adapter files. These files are available from kBase which can be accessed through the ESR website www.electronicstaffrecord.nhs.uk/kbase-registration. The adapter must be registered by the NHS Central Team after you have advised them via an SR of the address where the SCORM adapter is to be held. The SCORM adapter must sit within the same server as the content.
- It also proved worthwhile to have the testing team in different locations around the Trust because running the ‘PC Checker Tool’ showed some Internet access ports were open in certain areas of the site while closed in other areas.
- The IT services supplied a local eLearning server where courses (and the SCORM adapter files) were uploaded to. The server sits within the N3 network and therefore is not accessible from the Internet. N3 is the national broadband network for the National Health Service (NHS), connecting all NHS locations and NHS employees across England. Future implementations will include having the server accessible from the internet to enable remote access. However the implications to information security and information governance will be taken into consideration.
Testing and Configuring PCs Lessons Learned
- The IT Services Helpdesk was made aware of the NLMS Implementation date in preparation to staff having problems accessing their ESR account for the first time. The Helpdesk were also supplied with a step by step guide, frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) guide and provided further information about accessing eLearning through ESR.
- It was also noted certain PCs may require a specific version of Java such as those using Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) and other medical device systems which might result in not being able to use the version of Java necessary to run eLearning through ESR.
Our ESR administrator supplied the NHS ESR Data Team with an upload of all staff who would require an ESR user account. The ESR administrator had to:
- Identify those staff not requiring a login and delete them from the final datasheet
- Identify staff who already have logins and supply their usernames
- Check for duplicate names
- Check for leavers
- Manually add new staff who join the Trust after the data upload and before the implementation date
Staff were issued with their ESR usernames and passwords by email. This is also a good opportunity to support learners further and strengthen support networks by supplying them with further information such as a step by step eLearning user manual, FAQ’s and a link to an eLearning module that will demonstrate how to access ESR Oracle Learning Management eLearning.
Implementing NLMS Lessons Learned
- Use TPLY which is a separate practice ESR environment to test your courses
- Keep the training teams fully informed of progress
- Keep the IT Helpdesk fully informed of updates and changes
- Involve the library department as many of our staff regularly use the library to access eLearning
Advice to others
- Sending usernames and passwords by email was not deemed a security risk as they would only be using ESR to access eLearning and at this stage could not see any personal data, whilst ensuring an audit trail
- Select an implementation date and stick to it, staff will become despondent if dates are moved
- Offer eLearning support sessions and increase the number of basic IT courses
- Prior to implementation check all PCs with the ‘PC Checker Tool’ which is available at www.esrsupport.co.uk/nlms/
- Set up a team to test local and national courses
- Keep all staff fully informed and continually updated
A successful ESR project
- Positive forward thinking of Chief Executive, Directors and line managers
- The full cooperation and involvement of IT Services and the IT Helpdesk
- The full cooperation of the HR Department and ESR Administrator
- The full cooperation of the Head of Workforce Development and team
- The support of the NLMS Account Manager for the South West
- A Team and Project Manager that work well together
- The positive attitude of the staff accessing eLearning
If you would like to find out further information about the ESR project within Northern Devon Healthcare Trust please contact: Ken Stafford, IT Training, eLearning Manager, email: firstname.lastname@example.org