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A new eLearning partnership reaps dividends for two UK hospices

Author: Hazel Borthwick and Jane Berg
01 August 2017

Hazel Borthwick from Royal Trinity Hospice and Jane Berg from Princess Alice Hospice, explain the benefits of learning online rather than in a classroom.

Fitting in the time to complete mandatory training is not always easy to achieve, especially given the increasing demands on hospice staff and volunteers. Traditional classroom-based teaching can not only be time-consuming but resource heavy too, reducing the amount of time spent supporting patients and families.

Royal Trinity Hospice in London and Princess Alice Hospice in Esher already enjoy a good working relationship, sharing good practice and collaborating on several projects. When Trinity heard about Learningzone, a dedicated eLearning portal developed by Princess Alice Hospice to deliver mandatory training courses online, they wanted to find out more.

As Hazel Borthwick, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development at Royal Trinity Hospice explains, "we heard about Learningzone and wanted to offer something similar. Providing mandatory training courses online gives our staff so much more flexibility on when and where to complete them, a real plus especially if you are working shifts.

“The customised content was a crucial consideration for us, but to create our own using a commercial company was an expensive option."

"Collaborating with another hospice was a key factor, as not only was it a far more cost effective option for us, the fees help Princess Alice Hospice fund their own courses, so it benefitted us both."  

"As a result we now have 15 eLearning modules staff can access through one portal, when previously they had to log on to two different sites with two different logins., and when appropriate, we no longer need to hold all our face to face sessions. We can now also track compliance against requirements, which we were not able to do before."

Princess Alice Hospice developed the set of online courses about five years ago, as Jane Berg, Deputy Director of Skills Knowledge and Research at Princess Alice Hospice explains, "we wanted to offer online mandatory training courses our staff and volunteers could access from their tablets, laptops and mobiles, at a time and place convenient to them."

The hospice had looked at existing packages but wanted a more bespoke option allowing them control over the content and ensuring they reflected the look and feel of the hospice. After securing a grant from the James Tudor Trust, they were able to develop their own. 

"Our online courses are much easier to complete and staff have welcomed the flexibility they offer. We were delighted to be able to share our knowledge and expertise with Royal Trinity Hospice," Jane says.

Since Trinity started using the online courses three weeks ago, which are embedded with their own imagery and policies, there have already been 303 courses completed. "We are really pleased how well the online courses have been received by our staff and volunteers" Hazel says. “To have so many courses already completed in such a short space of time is remarkable. The courses span 20 different departments in the hospice. On the initial launch day 38 people had registered. This has now risen to 113."

"I am delighted with the response to Learningzone so far, and am extremely happy to be working in collaboration with Princess Alice Hospice to make it far easier for our staff to get the most relevant training they need and require," Hazel says.

One of the Princess Alice Hospice goals as part of their new five-year strategy is to share their knowledge and expertise and develop a far reaching education and training programme.

If you are interested in finding out more email Learningzone

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