Andy Dowden, Author at elearning for healthcare
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Routine maintenance

Posted on: December 16th, 2017 by Andy Dowden No Comments

Please note that the elearning for healthcare (elfh) Hub will be unavailable from 8:00am on Tuesday 19 December 2017 for a period of one hour. As part of our ongoing commitment to improving the efficiency and performance of the Hub, this update includes database changes and improvements; hence the extended downtime to apply this update.

Apologies for any inconvenience this period of downtime may cause.

e-Learning programme launched for professionals working with children with special educational needs and disabilities

Posted on: October 20th, 2017 by Andy Dowden No Comments

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and Health Education England elearning for healthcare (elfh) have developed the Early Developmental Support elearning course in partnership with The Open University, Great Ormond Street Hospital and the University of Hertfordshire.

The elearning programme encourages the development of skills for professionals working in health, education and social care who are involved in the care of children with special educational needs and disabilities. The elearning incorporates a wide range of materials from the Early Support Programme and focuses on the use of Developmental Journals and their role in keyworking.

The six elearning sessions are based on the Early Support Programme and are designed to improve implementation and the achievement of educational goals for all learners involved in the child’s care.

The programme comprises six elearning sessions that build on scientific evidence, as well as practitioner and family experiences.

The six sessions are:

  • Supporting Children and Young People’s Development
  • An Introduction to Using Early Support Materials in Context
  • Introducing and Using a Developmental Journal
  • Developmental Journal Visual Impairment: Developmental principles (two sessions)
  • General Developmental Principles (for use with all Developmental Journals).

The sessions are designed to be accessed at three levels:

  • Level 1: Broad audience, including parents and generic practitioners
  • Level 2: Health professionals, allied health professionals and practitioners
  • Level 3: Specialist health and educational professionals.

The Early Developmental Support elearning programme is hosted on the elfh Hub as part of the Healthy Child Programme. To access the resource please follow this link: <> and click on “Module 13”.

Making Every Contact Count - Five Ways to Wellbeing

Posted on: October 18th, 2017 by Andy Dowden No Comments

Health Education England elearning for healthcare has added a new module – Five Ways to Wellbeing – to its Making Every Contact Count elearning programme.

In 2008, the New Economics Foundation (NEF) developed the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ framework – a set of evidence-based actions to improve people’s wellbeing. These five actions are:

  • Give
  • Be active
  • Keep learning
  • Connect
  • Take notice.

The Five Ways to Wellbeing elearning module is for anyone using Making Every Contact Count. It introduces the concept of wellbeing and describes how the Five Ways to Wellbeing can be implemented in a variety of settings to promote it.

On completion of the Five Ways to Wellbeing module learners should be able to define the term “wellbeing” and appreciate the links between wellbeing and health.  The module also provides learners with information about the five ways to wellbeing and how they can be used to promote health and wellbeing.  This module is part of the Making Every Contact Count elearning programme.

Making Every Contact Count is an approach to behaviour change that utilises the millions of day-to-day interactions that organisations and people have with other people to support them in making positive changes to their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Making Every Contact Count enables the opportunistic delivery of consistent and concise healthy lifestyle information and enables individuals to engage in conversations about their health at scale across organisations and populations. Drawing on behaviour change evidence, the approach maximises the opportunity within routine health and care interactions for a brief or very brief discussion on health and wellbeing factors.

A Making Every Contact Count interaction takes a matter of minutes and is not intended to add to the busy workloads of healthcare professionals and the wider workforce, rather it is structured to fit into and complement existing professional clinical, care and social engagement approaches.

The wider Making Every Contact Count elearning programme is designed to support learners in developing an understanding of public health and the factors that impact on a person’s health and wellbeing, emphasising how asking questions and listening effectively to people is a vital role for us all.

To access the free Making Every Contact Count elearning programme, including the recently added Five Ways to Wellbeing, please click here:

Updated statutory and mandatory e-learning sessions – now live!

Posted on: October 18th, 2017 by Andy Dowden No Comments

Health Education England elearning for healthcare (HEE elfh) has worked with a range of subject matter experts to develop elearning training sessions, which address the learning outcomes at Level 1 and Level 2 of the UK Core Skills Training Framework (CSTF).  This work is now complete and the elearning sessions are available for free to all health and social care staff.

The UK CSTF sets out 10 statutory and mandatory training topics for all staff working in health and social care settings. The CSTF includes nationally agreed learning outcomes and training delivery standards.

The statutory and mandatory training has been redesigned as short and interactive elearning sessions which include scenarios, case studies and knowledge checks. Each session takes about 20 minutes to complete and can be accessed on laptops, tablets and mobiles.

The following elearning sessions and accompanying eAssessments are now available:

  • Fire Safety and Fire Safety eAssessment – Level 1
  • Equality, Diversity and Human Rights and Equality and Diversity and Human Rights eAssessment – Level 1
  • Health, Safety and Welfare and Health, Safety and Welfare eAssessment – Level 1
  • Infection Prevention and Control and Infection Prevention and Control eAssessment – Levels 1 and 2
  • Conflict Resolution and Conflict Resolution eAssessment – Level 1
  • Moving and Handling – Level 1 and Moving and Handling eAssessment – Levels 1 and 2
  • Data Security Awareness and Data Security Awareness eAssessment – Level 1 (previously listed as Information Governance)
  • Preventing Radicalisation and Preventing Radicalisation eAssessment – Levels 1 and 2
  • Resuscitation and Resuscitation eAssessment – Level 1
  • Resuscitation Adult and Resuscitation Adult eAssessment – Level 2
  • Resuscitation Paediatric and Resuscitation Paediatric eAssessment – Level 2
  • Resuscitation Newborn and Resuscitation Newborn eAssessment – Level 2
  • Safeguarding Adults and Safeguarding Adults eAssessment – Levels 1 and 2
  • Safeguarding Children and Safeguarding Children eAssessment – Levels 1 and 2.

The Data Security Awareness and Data Security Awareness eAssessment – Level 1 are aligned to the new data security standards that came out of the National Data Guardian’s 2016 review.  They therefore meet the requirement for Level 1 staff training in data security.  These resources have been developed as part of a collaborative project with NHS Digital.

The new Safeguarding Children Level 2 course has been updated so its style and format is consistent with the other statutory and mandatory elearning courses.  This has resulted in a reduction in the number of sessions and the primary and secondary care sessions (previously listed as Level 2a and 2b) have been combined into one session and accompanying eAssessment.

For learners who are confident in any of the subject areas, there is the option to proceed straight to the eAssessment without completing the elearning session. The training record will be updated with the eAssessment score. However, if a certificate is required as evidence of completion, both the eAssessment and knowledge session need to be completed.

It is the responsibility of individual health and social care employer organisations to ensure their workforce complete the appropriate training to comply with their statutory and mandatory requirements. It is also an employer’s responsibility to determine the best mode of delivering the training, whether that is face-to-face, elearning or a blended approach.

How to access

To access the free elearning sessions please follow this link:

The new versions of the Statutory and Mandatory sessions now support the AICC communication standard. This allows for remote Learning Management Systems (LMS) to launch the sessions from our content server as if they were loaded locally. Enrolment and tracking of usage is retained at the organisation’s LMS.  If your local LMS supports AICC, please contact our support desk, by emailing, and we will provide you with the relevant links and instructions to set up courses.


Health Education England funded Programme: Breaking Down the Barriers

Posted on: October 18th, 2017 by Andy Dowden No Comments

Making Child and Adolescents Learning Disabilities awareness a priority across GP practices

Current situation

In 2011, Public Health England (PHE) reported that 286,000 child and young people under 18 years old in England have a Learning Disability (LD). Children and adolescents with learning disabilities, are six times more likely to have a diagnosable mental health condition than those without (Emerson & Hatton 2007) and are more likely to experience mental health difficulties such as anxiety or low moods. One of the main barriers in identifying and diagnosing physical and mental health problems in children with LD is communication failure.

The challenge

Identifying the needs of children and young people with learning disabilities within primary care settings is integral to the effective and efficient assessment, management and delivery of care. The challenge was to upskill the primary care staff in this area. The package which constitutes one of the key resources of the Breaking Down the Barriers (BDtB) training package includes a combination of different training and communication techniques which could be sustainably used.

Addressing the problem

Dr Bini ThomasUCLPartners was commissioned by Health Education England, north, central and east London (NCEL) to conduct a needs assessment in 2014 across GP practices and primary care settings. We discovered a clear need and keen desire from GP practice staff to increase mental and physical health awareness, knowledge and basic skills in the management of children and adolescents with learning disabilities. UCLPartners has facilitated the co-creation, in partnership with North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT), of free learning disabilities awareness training resources for use across GP practices, primary care multidisciplinary staff. Resources have been developed as flexible taught modules, delivered in bite-sizes through a mixture of presentations, practical exercises, videos tutorials, case studies, scenarios, quizzes and discussions. Dr Bini Thomas (right, top), DR Kala ShanmuganandaConsultant Psychiatrist in Learning Disabilities, Simulation Lead & Dr Kala Shanmugananda (right, bottom), Consultant Community Paediatrician, both from NELFT, have been actively leading the way in delivering training sessions across the north-east London geographical region to promote and increase awareness in this area. Their exceptional and interactive training approach has had a lasting impact on all participants who have attended their sessions.

How NELFT’s approach is supporting management learning disabilities services across GP practices

NELFT’s innovative approach focuses on proactively enabling GPs to identify and manage children and young people with intellectual disabilities presenting with complex health concerns including mental health effectively. This involves having allocated LD nurses working with GP clusters as a main point of contact. NELFT has also led the way in managing transitions for children and young people with complex mental and physical health needs by ensuring awareness training is a key priority. They also have a clear transition pathway, a designated professional for signposting and working in collaboration with the client and their families.

The key targets:

• Creating awareness among GPs and practice staff regarding mental health in children and young people with learning disabilities to improve the management of care, outcomes and patient experience

• Facilitate the delivery of initial “Train the trainer” sessions to increase training delivery capacity and competency across settings to ensure sustainability and transformation and thereby having an impact on physical and mental health outcomes and better experience for children and adolescents with learning disabilities.

Seeing results

Constantinos PetridesConstantinos Petrides, Paediatric Registrar attended one of the BDtB child and adolescents learning disabilities “Train the Trainer” sessions this year and says this is an excellent and much needed course, pitched at the right level, suitable for health and social care professionals. He found the session provided him with invaluable knowledge and incredible insight into the experiences of professionals (nurses, psychologists, practice managers, GPs and parents) in the assessment and management of children and adolescents with LD across primary care settings.

Measuring impact of training across NCEL primary care staff

The Director of Medical Education at NELFT, Dr Mohan Bhat, has also received excellent feedback from staff who have attended this training and have found materials adaptable to local needs.

To facilitate capability building, sustainability and maintain training delivery across GP practices, BDtB has facilitated the provision and delivery of a number of “Train the Trainer” sessions. We have also developed a certified trainer list for localities to draw on. This will help attendees to attend refresher sessions to maintain their knowledge, confidence and practical skills.

Highlighted in the table below, findings and results following the initial roll-out of child and adolescent mental health and learning disabilities training across primary care shows a tremendous impact. We’ve found this is encouraging more GPs and practice managers to make provisions to ensure BDtB training is part of their core curriculum.

Ronke Adejolu, Programme Manager at UCLPartners, said “Breaking Down the Barriers awareness training is an excellent example of partnership working can help invest in and develop the capability and capacity of the NHS primary care workforce.”

For certified trainers to support further delivery of training across GP practice and GP VTS programme in the NCEL geographical region is available here. Access and download training resources here. For more information, please visit Or contact


TEL News September 2017

Posted on: October 2nd, 2017 by Andy Dowden No Comments

TEL News is your monthly update keeping you up to speed with all that is Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) in Healthcare. TEL NEWs includes information from Health Education England’s (HEE) TEL Programme team, the elearning for healthcare Programme, elearning and Simulation Leads across the local offices and other updates we think you’ll find useful.

Click the following link to access our full publication of TEL News.

Improving confidence and developing staff capabilities across NHS mental health settings

Posted on: September 29th, 2017 by Andy Dowden No Comments

Health Education England funded: Breaking Down the Barriers
Improving confidence and developing staff capabilities across NHS mental health settings

Current Situation

The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, 2016 highlighted that people with mental health problems have poorer physical health than the general population, often they are unable to access the physical healthcare they need and experience unnecessary health inequalities. People with a serious mental illness (SMI) accessing mental health services on an in/outpatient basis and settings do not always have their physical health needs identified, assessed, monitored, managed appropriately or receive timely information and support they need, to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Figures obtained from NHS England in 2016 found more than 8,000 serious incidents were reported by mental health trusts in England the previous year. There has been a steady increase in the numbers of incidents recorded by 58 mental health trusts in England from 6,074 to 8,139 from 2012-2015.

Some of the real challenges mental health trusts experience are competing training course priorities, poor uptake of training, unable to release staff to attend and/or deliver training sessions, trying to fit in training into an already packed programme. UCLPartners commissioned by Health Education England, north, central and east London (NCEL) conducted a needs assessment in 2014 across mental health settings through structured interviews focus groups, questionnaires and surveys to understand the training needs and requirements of staff in a mental health setting.

Key findings from the needs assessment report in relation to current existing and future training needs showed;

  • Over 50% of the doctors across mental health settings surveyed had received less than 2 hours training on managing physical health conditions in the past year
  • 95% of mental health nurses saw physical health related responsibilities as part of their duty, and a majority were currently providing some form of physical health care, despite not having had much training in this area;
  • Nearly 56% of the mental health nurses surveyed were not aware of any training courses on physical health run locally at the trust;
  • 57% of those who had accessed education in physical health during their pre-registration did not feel that it had prepared them to look after the physical health of their patients.

Mental health and mental health and multidisciplinary staff who undertook the needs assessment, highlighted an urgent need for a physical health awareness training every 6 months; preferably of a minimum half day, targeted, face to face training sessions twice a year. The challenge was to provide appropriate and relevant physical health awareness training, resources and delivery modes for mental health staff that met their day to day operational, clinical needs and management of patients with complex care.

What have we done so far?

With the main emphasis on upskilling mental health professionals, UCLPartners facilitated the development of Breaking Down the Barriers (BDtB), the co-creation and delivery of six free, adaptable physical awareness training modules for use across mental health settings and higher education institutes. BDtB physical health training aims to increase overall awareness, improve early identification, assessment management, timely sign-posting and referrals of patients with complex mental and physical health needs. BDtB physical awareness training has been created for delivery in bite sizes, classroom Training is through a mixture of presentations, practical exercises, videos tutorials, case studies, scenarios, quizzes including discussions.

Positive practice: Increasing knowledge and developing capability

Breaking Down the Barriers_Latest News

Dr Sergio Sawh, Emergency Medicine Specialist, Registrar & ED simulation fellow at University College Hospital London, has delivered the highest number of training sessions to clinical and non-clinical staffacross mental health trusts within the NCEL geographical region. Following the success of the training, there has also been a high demand for training from other localities, most recently from South Kensington & Chelsea mental health centre. BDtB training simulation scenarios include the management of the collapsed patient, over-sedation and the practical use of Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation (SBAR) communication tool.

Seeing results: what attendees have said following physical awareness training by Dr Sergio Sawh:

“This type of training needs to happen regularly and everyone who is patient-facing should have this training.”

“Training was very eye-opening and made me realise just how much more there is to learn if I am to become confident in managing a patient who has collapsed in my care and at my trust. However, I now feel that I am capable.”

“I enjoyed the scenarios and practical involvement, it has highlighted areas in my practice area where we require essential equipment to deal with medical emergencies.”

“Overall, it’s been a great learning experience as we sometimes get rusty as psychiatrists.”

The diagram below shows pre-and post measurements on knowledge, confidence and practical skill levels of mental health and multidisciplinary staff who attended training.

Breaking Down the Barriers_Latest NewsMental health professionals and multidisciplinary staff are in unique positions to help and empower people with an SMI to improve their physical health. BDtB physical health awareness resources aim to support staff by building on existing skills and knowledge to help reduce risk factors known to adversely affect the physical health of people with an SMI.

Ronke Adejolu, Programme Manager, UCLPartners said “Breaking Down the Barriers is proving reciprocal and collaborative training approach can help build and develop capabilities of staff, hereby reducing serious incidences across mental health trusts.

To access BDtB downloadable training resources please visit; For more information, contact Ellen Nelson

e-Learning to promote best practice in continence and catheter care

Posted on: September 29th, 2017 by Andy Dowden No Comments

Health Education England elearning for healthcare has worked with Oxford Academic Health Science Network, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Health Education England Thames Valley to develop an elearning programme to promote excellence in continence and catheter care.

Providing high quality continence care is an essential part of nursing care but it is an area that is often not well understood. Urinary incontinence can have a profound impact on a person’s life, often leading to social isolation which can lead to a deterioration in physical and mental health. Poor continence care can exacerbate this. Nursing staff should be able to recognise those who are at risk of being incontinent and support them to maintain their continence. Nurses should also support patients who are incontinent to regain their continence.

This programme, for nursing staff and health care assistants across all settings, aims to improve knowledge and awareness of all aspects of continence and catheter care. The programme includes the different types of incontinence and the therapies and treatments that can be offered to patients. Emphasis will be placed on avoiding catheterisation and on strategies for reducing the risk of catheter acquired urinary tract infection (CAUTI) in situations where catheterisation is unavoidable.

The elearning programme comprises two sessions: “Promoting best practice in continence care” and “Promoting best practice in catheter care”.

To access the elearning please visit:

Changes to Genomics Education Programme online learning

Posted on: September 18th, 2017 by Andy Dowden No Comments

New online programme set to enhance traditional learning, support existing teaching methods and provide a valuable reference point for a wide audience

Three of the Genomics Education Programme (GEP) courses; 100,000 Genomes Project: Preparing for the Consent Conversation, Introduction to Bioinformatics and Sample Processing & DNA Extraction are now available through the elearning for healthcare (elfh) and eIntegrity platforms.

As genomic medicine moves beyond specialist clinics and into mainstream patient care, the GEP courses have been made available through these elearning platforms to create a comprehensive online genomics education and training hub available for healthcare professionals both nationally and internationally.

Access to online courses

All NHS staff and GEP partners (including university partners) will continue to access the courses free of charge via the elearning for healthcare (elfh) hub. Non-NHS staff can also continue to temporarily access the courses free of charge through elfh, however there will be a small charge after the temporary period ends and users must register with eIntegrity to continue to access the courses.

Over the coming months more GEP courses will be migrated onto the genomics education and training hub to meet the growing demand. All other tools and resources will continue to be available on the Genomics Education Programme website.

To access the resources please visit:

elfh is a Health Education England programme in partnership with the NHS and professional bodies