22nd January 2020 Written by Skills for Health

Image: How embracing digital learning can add pace to NHS workforce shortages.As we enter the cold and dark winter months with pace, it’s no surprise that workforce shortages and skills gaps have become even more publicised in the media. With influenza season in full swing, and several worrying new reports on life-threatening conditions like Sepsis being released, it’s crucial that we all look at how we can add equal pace to the immediate workforce challenges in the UK’s healthcare sector.

There’s a range of new funding initiatives to increase the NHS workforce, and quality of care in areas like Mental Health and chronic illnesses, but these things take time that can’t be afforded for those with critical illnesses. Time to manage processes, consider all the steps needed to increase recruitment, training and implementation of a new workforce.

One of the key challenges that causes stagnation in the growth of the workforce, is the sheer time it takes to train up new staff. Upskilling also takes time and can be costly if not carried out in a well-managed and sustainable process.

Embracing digital tools, particularly for supporting management and administration of training could be a key ingredient to add pace to developing a highly skilled and sustainable workforce that we so desperately need.

Often headlines will focus on the huge lead time it takes to train Doctors and Nurses, and whilst naturally very important, more focus could be made to upskill an existing workforce to manage the ever-increasing demand on the NHS. Not only does ongoing upskilling help ensure patients are getting the best possible experience, but it could also be said that there are potential benefits in increasing staff retention, your staff are learning more skills, feeling more valued and providing better patientcare.

But how can we do this with pace? A great starting point is to consider the broad range of online resources, training and learning management tools available. We need to shift the perception of online learning from ‘something I have to do for compliance’ to ‘somewhere I can learn new skills and continue my training’.

Not only is it important to explore a range of upskilling opportunities that elearning could deliver for your workforce, but it’s also to find the right online solutions to help you understand, expand and manage training. By utilising a healthcare-focused learning management system, you can manage all training – both mandatory and for upskilling programmes, in one online platform.

Add pace to your workforce training by speaking to a digital healthcare specialist today. Get in touch.