Award winners 2016 update: Once for Wales – NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership Overall winner and Chamberlain Dunn Learning award for excellence in organisational development

The ‘Once for Wales’ technology enabled learning (TEL) solution gives assurance to organisations that staff are competent and compliant with the required levels of knowledge to safely and efficiently deliver patient care while meeting service, quality and financial challenges. Here Helen Thomas, deputy ESR Programme Director from NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership outlines what the project involved, what has changed since they won the award and plans for the future.
Our project has delivered a ‘one Wales’ national e-learning platform with materials available 24/7, 365 days a year at home or work. This includes:
•          Access to e-learning modules outside the NHS Wales family.
•          A TEL operating model that eliminates licence costs
•          Agile e-learning development – over 200 e-learning courses have
            been developed by Wales employees for Wales employees
•          Accessibility in the use of e-learning – there are approximately
            150,000 e-learning users registered
•          Use – the average number of learners have grown from 500 (2014)
            to over 20,000 users a month (2016).
 
Changes since winning the award
 
When you set out a blueprint for changing the future of work practices, despite having a business case that justifies why things need to change, there is always a risk of falling short of the vision. Change often means uncertainty for staff, they don’t always like new systems and there are always glitches that pose a threat to achieving the desired result.
 
This project was no different. Julie Rogers, who led this project, and the technology enabled learning team (TEL) team required resilience in abundance to remain positive to criticisms when the system failed and to continue along the direction of travel that we believed would bring about significant benefits for NHS Wales.
 
Winning the HPMA category for best OD initiative, then going on to win the HPMA Overall Winner has validated our belief that this project was not only the right thing to undertake, but that it was undertaken successfully with benefits fully realised.
 
The award provides national recognition of the hard work and dedication of all involved in delivering this project and recognises the significant impact it has had on delivering improved and prudent workforce services. It is rewarding to see this project showcased on a national level so other NHS organisations can adopt similar blueprints and realise equally valuable benefits.
 
 
Plans for the future
 
Plans for the future include extending this project to Wales universities, so health care students can access e-learning and acquire key statutory and mandatory learning & compliance within their undergraduate or medical training. This will build in safety and assurance to the onboarding of our future workforce in Wales. And why stop at health? We can also extend this project to wider public sector in Wales.
 
 
Why other trusts should enter the awards
 
The process of entering the award in itself was immensely helpful. It required us to reflect on why we embarked on this project, how we overcome issues and to recognise the significant journey we have been on. It also required us to objectively evaluate the project and seek feedback on the impact the project has had.
 
There has been significant recognition of this NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership project as a result of HPMA promotion, with the article ‘Managing Better Care: Lessons in Collaboration’ published recently by Managers in Partnership (MIP): http://www.miphealth.org.uk/News/HomepageNews-35411.aspx
 
For more information, email helen.thomas7@wales.nhs.uk