Can eLearning help the NHS save money without compromise?

Organising training sessions can often be a logistical nightmare, perhaps more so in healthcare than any other sector. Finding the right healthcare training course is one thing, but then it becomes a question of ensuring that all team members can attend, while also monitoring the quality of training that is delivered.

Since the launch of the Care Certificate in April 2015, providers of health and social care services have had to ensure that staff meet the standards set out within the certificate guidelines. However, the schedule of most care workers is notoriously busy, so finding adequate time for face-to-face training can be a challenge, particularly if it requires staff travelling to other locations.

Integrating eLearning into your training programme can certainly allow savings to be made, both in terms of time and costs, but it’s important to point out that eLearning alone cannot be seen as a replacement for workplace supervision. Fundamentally, eLearning can equip staff with knowledge, but there will always be a need to ensure that theory is put into practice as part of ongoing CPD.


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Flexible Working and Cutting Costs

Part of the problem with face-to-face training is managing consistency and cost-effectiveness; ideally, management will want as many people as possible to be trained simultaneously, but this can have a huge impact crammed timetables.

The advantage of eLearning is that staff can progress through modules at their own pace, and in their own time. Furthermore, you can track learner progress, and identify any individuals who may be struggling with course material. 

With the the financial strain on the health sector increasingly under the spotlight, careful budgeting has become a vital consideration. However, implementing an online training system has been reported to cut costs by between 40 and 60 percent.


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Furthermore, providers usually offer a range of courses, allowing you to select modules that are most relevant to your team’s needs. This includes courses designed to bring healthcare workers up to Care Certificate standards, as well as more targeted programmes, such as immunisation training and fire safety courses.

Follow It Up

Of course, while there is no doubt of the financial benefits of using eLearning, it is important not to compromise on quality. As such, training should always be followed up with practical assessments to ensure that learners have a full understanding of the material covered. 

However, in many ways, online training can be of a higher quality than its counterparts, as resources can be instantly updated with policy changes and latest best practice guidelines. This means your staff will always working with up-to-date information.

 


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No Compromise on Quality

The ability to access resources at any time and on multiple devices reduces the pressure on staff, allowing them to work in whatever way they are most comfortable. Meanwhile, the use of visual media can make eLearning easier to absorb which can, in turn, mean learners retain more information and develop their understanding at higher rates.

Gaps in core knowledge can persist through several generations, with staff potentially passing on misinformation. However, by offering current, consistent training resources, you not only protect your clients and the reputation of your business, but also help your employees reach national standards, building strong foundations for future development. 

So, can eLearning save the NHS money without compromise. Yes, it can - the cost-efficiencies and educational benefits for knowledge-based courses have been clearly demonstrated in recent years. It goes without saying that much healthcare training can only be carried out with practical guidance and hands-on assessment, but for mandatory core skills, eLearning offers a convenient, cost-effective, complementary delivery method that is fully capable of preparing care workers for their roles. 


David Evans

For further insight, please download our free guide - How to successfully implement eLearning into healthcare practices.

David Evans is Product Manager at The Skills Platform.

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