Service Transformation e-Learning Project Launched

What started out as a casual discussion about eLearning between two library managers in different services, evolved into a nationwide NHS eLearning project designed exclusively by the Health Academy’s Blended Learning team.

Tracey Pratchett, Knowledge and Library Services Manager at the Health Academy, and Sarah Lewis, Library Services Manager at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust were both planning to develop local eLearning on how to search literature effectively. It soon became clear that by working together, they could create high quality eLearning that could be used by any NHS Library staff as part of their blended learning offer.

Tracey and Sarah pitched their idea to Health Education England (HEE) and STEP (Service Transformation e-Learning Project) was born. They identified expertise from within their organisations adding Mandy Davis, Blended Learning Manager at the Health Academy and Tracey Geddis, Advanced Nurse Practitioner at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust to the team. Michelle Maden (Information consultant) was also brought in to bring training expertise to the project. The project was overseen by a wide ranging Steering Group including professionals from organisations including NICE, higher education and HEE who gave accountability to the project and guidance to the team.

Informed by two nationwide surveys and with regular evaluation from 42 library staff via a Virtual Reference Group, a suite of seven modules was created to help healthcare staff to, build their confidence to search the published literature for articles and evidence relevant to their work, study and research. This was an ambitious project with a large remit, a huge number of stakeholders and was also led by a dispersed project team. Despite this challenging landscape, with regular teleconferences and a desire to produce something truly innovative, the project is finally coming to fruition. 

The modules will be launched over the next few months, with the first phase of the project due at the end of November. The first three modules will help users to build the foundations for searching; enabling trainees to assess their current search skills and learn some of the basics. The next three modules will help users to develop their skills further, encouraging them to use techniques to find more information and to reduce the number of results as required. The final module will be launched in 2018 and will let trainees apply the skills they have learnt to searching a specific resource. 

Service Transformation e-Learning ProjectPictured left to right: Adrian Hawtin, Tracey Pratchett, Mandy Davies and Wayne Troake

“When we started on this journey”, Tracey said, “we didn’t anticipate how challenging it would be to write engaging eLearning that would meet the needs of all of our stakeholders. It really has been a complete team effort, and the input from Mandy and the Blended Learning team has been invaluable! They’ve designed something which is really professional, interactive and is truly inspired”.

Mandy added “We’re thrilled to have been involved in this exciting collaboration. Being part of the team tasked with developing these national online learning resources has been a great experience; we hope the end product will prove to be of real value to staff who are searching library databases across the country.”

The first three modules are available via the eLearning for Healthcare platform at https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/literature-searching/