Tracheostomy Safety - elearning for healthcare
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This programme is in partnership with...
  • Royal College of Anaesthetists
  • National Tracheostomy Safety Project

About the Tracheostomy Safety programme

Tracheostomy Safety is a web-based educational resource developed by the National Tracheostomy Safety Project, in partnership with the Royal College of Anaesthetists and Health Education England elearning for healthcare. The programme contains six sessions which are intended to support the educational requirements of those caring for ‘neck breathing’ patients, either routinely or in an emergency. The resources are applicable for general and specialist nursing staff, medical staff and allied health professionals from all backgrounds. Although primarily aimed at staff working in hospitals, the resources are also applicable to those who care for patients in community settings. These sessions also provide a learning resource for trainers, which can be effectively integrated into local teaching and educational programmes. On completion a certificate can be generated which could form part of a local competency package.

Adult tracheostomy and laryngectomy emergencies are uncommon but lead to significant morbidity and mortality. Paediatric and neonatal incidents also occur. The National Tracheostomy Safety Project aims to improve the management of tracheostomy and laryngectomy critical incidents, many of which are the result of recurring themes. Many incidents are amenable to prospective quality improvement strategies and education for those staff caring for patients with a tracheostomy.

The National Tracheostomy Safety Project has developed resources and emergency algorithms, taking into account existing guidelines, evidence and experiences. Key stakeholder groups include the Difficult Airway Society, Intensive Care Society, the Royal College of Anaesthetists, ENT UK, British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, College of Emergency Medicine, Resuscitation Council UK, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care and the National Patient Safety Agency. More recent work has focussed on preventing emergencies through basic care done well, and on patient-focussed improvements around eating, drinking and talking.

You can find out more at

More information

The programme comprises the following sessions:

Understanding Tracheostomies and Laryngectomies
Emergency Care
Basic Care, Done Well
Emergency Front of Neck Airway
The Patient With a Laryngectomy
Tracheostomy: Talking, Swallowing and Decannulation

The sessions have been designed as an interactive online learning package, and contain videos, diagrams and images demonstrating procedures, equipment and techniques. Self-assessment is included, along with an archive of resources and links.


Meet the team

  • Brendan McGrath FRCA

    Joint Clinical Project Lead
  • Ed Hammond FRCA

    Joint Clinical Project Lead
  • Emma Nye

    Emma Nye

    Programme Manager, HEE elearning for healthcare
  • Alan Campbell

    Alan Campbell

    Learning Designer, HEE elearning for healthcare

How to access

Available to all

The Tracheostomy Safety programme is freely available to access here.
Please note your progress and completion of sessions will not be recorded and you will not be able to generate a record of completion, if accessed from this site. If you require evidence of learning, please register and then log in to access this programme on the elfh Hub.

Register >

If you already have an account with elfh, then you can enrol on to the Tracheostomy Safety programme by logging in to the elfh Hub, selecting My Account > Enrolment and selecting the programme. You can then access the programme immediately in the My elearning section.

To view the Tracheostomy Safety programme, select the View button below. If you already have an account with elfh, you will also be able to login and enrol on the programme from the View button.

View >

NHS healthcare staff in England

The Tracheostomy Safety programme is also available to NHS healthcare staff via the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). Accessing this elearning via ESR means that your completions will transfer with you throughout your NHS career.

Further details are available here.

Not an NHS organisation?

If you are not an NHS health or care organisation and therefore do not qualify for free access elfh Hub, you may be able to access the service by creating an OpenAthens account.

To check whether or not you qualify for free access via OpenAthens, you can view the eligibility criteria and register on the ‘OpenAthens’ portal.

Registering large numbers of users

If you are a HR, IT or Practice Manager and would like to register and enrol large numbers of staff within your organisation for access onto the Tracheostomy Safety programme, please contact elfh directly.

Organisations wishing to use their own LMS

For HR departments wanting to know more about gaining access to courses using an existing Learning Management System please contact elfh directly to express interest.

More information

Please select the following link for more information on how to use the elfh Hub.

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