Irish e-learning firm to educate NHS

24 Oct 2005

Irish e-learning company Intuition Publishing is to spearhead the biggest education campaign within the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) – going out to some 1.3 million NHS workers – aimed at driving down the number of healthcare-associated infections.

At present in the UK, one in nine patients will acquire an infection as a result of healthcare treatment at a cost of £1bn sterling per annum. Although not all such infections are preventable, it is thought that almost one third are.

The education programme developed on behalf of the NHS by Intuition in conjunction with Thames Valley University’s Richard Wells Research Centre will be available to all 1.3 million NHS staff in England, making it one of the most ambitious education projects undertaken in the UK.

Dublin-headquartered Intuition is one of Ireland’s longest-standing computer-based training companies and was established in 1985. It has grown to include offices in New York, London, Zurich, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Singapore. The company has become an e-learning market leader in a number of key segments including financial services and healthcare education.

The programme deployed by Intuition to the NHS is unlike any other previous training because it is designed to be relevant to all levels of staff within the NHS, from cleaners and receptionists to nurses, doctors, managers and chief executives.

The chief nurse officer for England Professor, Christine Beasley, said: “It is vital that everyone in the NHS and outside in other healthcare settings makes reducing infection and improving infection control their business.

“This innovative approach to training will mean hundreds and thousands of NHS staff can improve their knowledge of infection control and really help in driving down avoidable infections. I would like to see everyone, from chief executives and consultants right through to cleaners and healthcare assistants, accessing this resource and improving their knowledge and skills,” Beasley said.

Accessibility and literacy were priorities in the programme’s design. Importantly, it can be taught in a classroom or over the internet. The online learning programme uses media including video, 3D and Flash animations.

The three-part programme covers all key aspects of infection prevention and staff members can access individual modules in their own time and track their progress. Hand washing is the most important action in preventing infection and this is highlighted in the training. Most of the programme looks at real-life situations where decisions around safety have to be made.

By John Kennedy