Stakeholder Briefing – Issue 26 - elearning for healthcare
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Stakeholder Briefing – Issue 26

Leanne Hargreaves, 23 December 2020

Key Messages and links to 21st December 2020

Welcome to Health Education England’s stakeholder bulletin.

In this bulletin we will provide:

  • Messages from our Chief Executive’s Office
  • COVID-19 latest updates
  • Overview of HEE education and training news
  • An update from your regional office

Weekly messages from HEE:

Read recent messages from Dr Navina Evans, Chief Executive, HEE.

Biggest week in NHS history – workforce matters

Seasons Greetings – things I didn’t know about HEE


We have created a COVID-19 update webpage for October 2020 onwards. It will provide guidance and information from HEE, which applies to all students and trainees. This webpage also includes HEE COVID-19 Surge Guidance.

COVID-19 Vaccination Delivery

Colleagues across Health Education England, NHS England and NHS Improvement and other partners have made amazing strides in just a few weeks supporting the health and care system to roll out the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

So, when Damian Rowland, a consultant paediatrician at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, tweeted about his daughter’s idea about how we deliver all the COVID-19 vaccine, our vaccination workforce workstream got straight in touch with Santa to ensure Bella got a personal response courtesy of the comms team and Head Elf (and workstream lead) Mark Radford.Stakeholder Briefing 16_TwitterCoronavirus elearning programme

The HEE elearning for healthcare (elfh) Coronavirus elearning has now seen more than 3 million session launches since it was launched in March 2020.

New resources have recently been added to the programme for returning doctors and clinicians supporting the COVID-19 111 service:

Returning Doctors in Primary Care

Returning clinicians

COVID-19 vaccination elearning programme

The elfh vaccination elearning programme is being widely used by the health and care workforce supporting the COVID-19 vaccination roll out.

The elfh vaccination programme consists of a core knowledge session and a vaccine-specific session with accompanying assessment sessions for each. More vaccine-specific sessions will be added as and when more COVID-19 vaccines become available and authorised for supply in the UK.

To date, more than 46,000 doctors, nurses and other professionals have completed the additional training needed to join the vaccination effort, with many more expected to follow over the coming days.

Since the resources went live earlier this month, over 57,000 clinicians, including over 18,000 nurses and midwives, have clocked up more than 133,000 hours of learning online.

For more information about the elfh COVID-19 vaccination programme please visit the elfh website.

Healthcare Learners’ Coronavirus Advice Guide

The Healthcare Learners Coronavirus Advice Guide aims to serve as an aid to healthcare learners to provide them with useful hints, tips and advice to use during the current COVID-19 pandemic and to protect against other infections. The advice given in this document has been collated from questions posed to HEE and experiences shared by healthcare learners working on the front line


We are supporting all professions to rapidly grow to meet the needs of patients by:

Strong performance in medical specialty training fill rates

Figures released by Health Education England in December show good fill rates across most specialties this year including in Core Psychiatry, Paedatrics, Pallative Medicine, Gastroenterology and Haemotology which have all achieved a 100% fill rate.

They also show that applications for medical specialty training for next year are up 35% compared to this year.

This news follows November’s announcement of the highest ever number of GPs entering training with 3,793 posts accepted, exceeding the mandated target of 3,250.

Record rise in nursing students

Record numbers of nursing students have been accepted onto university courses following a concerted recruitment campaign by Health Education England and NHS England and Improvement.

Figures released today by UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, show the number of nursing applicants winning places at English universities in 2020 rose by 25.9 per cent compared with 2019, up from 23,630 to 29,740.

The number of successful mature applicants aged 35 and over rose by 43.6 per cent compared with the previous year, while the number of male students winning places was up by 36 per cent in 2020 compared with 8.5 per cent in 2019.

Placements for 18-year-old school leavers rose by 25 per cent.

Overall, there were steep increases for every age group in the number of students winning nursing places, with a clear trend towards older applicants attaining places.

Ambassadors fly the flag for nursing associate roles

40 Nursing Associates and Trainee Nursing Associates from across the country have volunteered to support Health Education England to promote, raise awareness and improve understanding of the Nursing Associate (NA) role.

The Ambassadors will share their stories, knowledge and experiences through social media, at regional and national events and across other channels. They will be part of HEE’s Trainee Nursing Associate and Nursing Associate (TNA/NA) Ambassador scheme and support the ambition to grow the Nursing Associate workforce.

We are ensuring core HEE work to support our NHS colleagues continues:

Enhancing the future doctor workforce

Health Education England has been building upon the findings of the Future Doctor engagement programme to embed ‘generalism’ within medical education.

HEE working with stakeholder partners are developing a wraparound professional development offer to enhance current specialty training. Proposals to enhance generalism are being developed regionally and will complement current training, across the first five years of Postgraduate Medical Education.

The aim is to embed generalist skills early in training to support future doctors to deliver high quality care and meet the ever-changing complex demands of the health and care landscape.

We are making sure all professions have the training they need to make a difference:

elearning for healthcare launches hit 20 million for 2020

Health Education England’s elearning for Healthcare (HEE elfh) Hub has passed the milestone of 20 million content launches so far this year.  Over the last 14 years there have been 50 million session launches on the elfh Hub with 20 million of those being in just the last 12 months.

The health and care workforce have engaged with elearning and the growth in usage of elfh resources indicates there is great demand for a blended approach to learning across the health and care workforce.

HEE elfh, which is part of the Technology Enhanced Learning team, supports patient care by developing elearning resources to educate and train the health and care workforce. Currently more than 400 elearning programmes are available, or being developed, in collaboration with organisations including Royal Colleges, Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England.

HEE elfh’s programmes cover subjects from audiology to anaesthesia, dentistry to dermatology, electronic fetal monitoring to end of life care, primary care to prescribing, safeguarding children to statutory and mandatory training.

For more information about elfh visit:

Professional development team sessions have been refreshed within the Educator Training Resource Programme

Health Education England elearning for healthcare (HEE elfh) has worked with the Professional Development Team at HEE London and South East (LaSE) to review existing elearning sessions, aimed at educators and supervisors of doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists, pharmacists, allied health professionals and healthcare scientists.

All 20 sessions have been revised and reflect current policy updates and procedures.  These modules are linked to the Professional Development Framework for Educators.

The Professional Development Team (LaSE) elearning sessions are part of the Educator Training Resource Programme, accessible via the Educator Hub.

If you would like to know more about the programme, including how to access the elearning sessions, visit:

The Professional development team elearning programme is also available to the health and care workforce via AICC and the Electronic Staff Record (ESR).

New HCSW2020 Accelerated Care Certificate elearning programme now available

Health Education England elearning for healthcare (HEE elfh) has worked in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement, Indeed and Skills for Care to develop the HCSW2020 Accelerated Care Certificate elearning programme.

To meet the needs of staff as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the HCSW2020 (Health Care Support Worker) recruitment programme has been established. This aims to accelerate HCSW supply and reduce vacancies across mental health, acute care, community, primary care, midwifery, learning disabilities, and children and young people services.

This elearning will support the induction of HCSWs and uses a mix of existing elfh resources and practical competency-based learning. Due to the demands of the pandemic, the Care Certificate will be accelerated to deliver an induction programme and training for colleagues. This model of delivery will not affect the high quality of the Care Certificate.

For more information about the elearning programme and to access the sessions, please visit the HCSW2020 Accelerated Care Certificate elearning programme page.

Care Certificate shortlisted for HSJ Award

The Care Certificate elearning programme has been shortlisted for a HSJ Partnership Award 2021 in the Best Educational Programme for the NHS category.

The next round of judging takes place in February with winners announced in June 2021.

New sessions added to Intensive Care Medicine elearning programme

Health Education England elearning for healthcare has worked with the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine to develop 6 sessions for the Intensive Care Medicine elearning programme.

The sessions take approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete and comprise the following topics:

  • Care of the Collapsed Pregnant Patient
  • General Aspects of Obstetric Critical Care
  • Decision-making Surrounding Escalation of Treatment
  • Introduction to Intensive Care Medicine
  • Long-term Outcomes of Critical Illness.

There is also a specific COVID-19 session on decision-making surrounding escalation of critical care which is available in the Coronavirus elearning programme.

The elearning for Intensive Care Medicine (e-ICM) programme provides 9 modules of resources (elearning sessions, links to open access review articles, guidelines and multiple-choice questions) covering the syllabus for training in intensive care medicine.

While the resources will be particularly useful for trainees undertaking training in intensive care medicine, they will also be of interest to anyone caring for critically ill patients.

To access the sessions, please visit the Intensive Care Medicine programme page.

Further information about the project is also available via the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine website.

New Telephone Assessment for Colorectal STT elearning now available

Health Education England elearning for healthcare (HEE elfh) has developed a new elearning programme on the Telephone Assessment for Colorectal Straight-to-test pathway (STT).

The NHS England Rapid cancer diagnostic and assessment pathways guidance features nurse-led assessment as a core element of the colorectal cancer STT pathway. This assessment can be carried out via a telephone consultation and the elearning prepares nurses to undertake this role.

The training is suitable for experienced colorectal nurses or endoscopists who will be undertaking telephone assessment for colorectal cancer STT pathways as part of their clinical role.

To complete the course, learners need to complete both the above modules and undertake observed triaged phone calls which will be approved by a supervisor from their own department. This elearning course includes downloadable guidance for learners and departments as well as documentation for learners to record their progress.

More information, including access details, is available on the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine.

 New Pharmacy in Primary Care elearning programme now available

Health Education England elearning for healthcare (HEE elfh) have worked in partnership with Health Education England’s London and South East Pharmacy Team to develop a new, free elearning programme to support pre-registration pharmacists in training.

The Pharmacy in Primary Care elearning modules have been designed for hospital-based pre-registration pharmacists to aid in their learning of the Community Pharmacy contract and provision of unscheduled care in the community. A final module in development will introduce trainees to the role of the General Practice (GP) Pharmacist.

The Pharmacy in Primary Care modules are available to the health and care workforce via the elearning for healthcare Hub.

You can learn more about the elearning on the Pharmacy in Primary Care programme page.

We are making sure all professions have the digital skills they need to make a difference:

Connected Communities discovery report published

The Digital Readiness Team have published the findings of a short user research (discovery) piece to rapidly understand the needs of health informatics professionals (bodies, groups and individuals) and how best to engage with them and understand their participation and involvement in networks, in order to improve professional and service development in the future.

Read the Connected communities for supporting informatics professionals report to learn about the 5 themes emerging from our research and see recommendations for how we better support our health and care informatics networks and communities.

NHS Digital Academy inclusive recruitment surveys

The NHS Digital Academy team are seeking to understand the views of previous applicants to Cohorts 1, 2 and 3, on the application process, whether they were successful or not in gaining a place. They would also like to hear from those who have never applied, to better understand why this might be.

By completing one of these surveys, you will be supporting the development of what aims to be a more inclusive and transparent process that will attract, educate, and empower future digital health leaders, with additional information available to support potential candidates.

The Digital Readiness Team on Twitter

To keep up to date with the latest news on our work uplifting digital skills, knowledge, understanding and awareness across the health and care workforce follow @HEE_DigiReady on Twitter.


By following @NHS_HealthEdEng you can keep up to date with new information and resources as they are published. Most importantly are the notifications of webinars being broadcast during the week.

Right now, making sure we are communicating properly is obviously incredibly important. If there’s any information you think is missing on HEE’s webpages, please let us know by submitting your question to the HEE Q&A helpdesk.

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