Validate Your Care Online Learning Portal

V-care (Validate Your Care) evidence-based online learning portal by John Bramwell and Paul O’Sullivan, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

[email protected]

Who asked?

Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

What did they say?

The Trust employ over 3,000 nursing staff (acute and community) and they needed assurance that the Trust’s nursing workforce had appropriate evidence-based knowledge of fundamental compassionate and safe care. Other aims were:

  • To prepare the nursing workforce for the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) requirements for revalidation.
  • To improve patient safety by having access to core nursing standards.
  • To improve overall performance.
  • To provide a solution which is cost effective and easy to access.

What did you do?

We developed a one stop user friendly evidence-based online learning portal called V-Care to support busy nurses with the main aim to assess their current knowledge, highlight any gaps and provide learning material to meet those gaps.

V-Care was developed with a leading professor of nursing, who worked closely with subject matter experts working in the Trust to develop content that was up to date, relevant to current training practices within the Trust. This resulted in 16 subjects and 68 learning outcomes being developed and verification was sought by scoping local and national policies and directives and by undertaking a survey with senior nurses across Greater Manchester. The survey provoked 44 responses and found a high level of agreement that the subjects were highly relevant to fundamental nursing care in acute adult in-patient settings. Participants were given the opportunity to identify any additional subjects, none were suggested. Following discussions with the Chief Nurse and the project steering group the 16 subjects were organised into 3 modules, these engender the 6 C’s (NHS England), avoid duplication of effect with requirements of mandatory training, use the best available evidence and support nurses to prepare for the professional revalidation requirements from the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC). The 3 modules are:

  • Module 1- Early Recognition and Management of the Deteriorating Patient
  • Module 2-Care of Older People in Health Care Settings
  • Module 3-Evidence based acute medical and surgical nursing care

How did it help?

The online content is academically acceptable and linked to the correct knowledge levels for a newly qualified Band 5 nurse, and therefore helps to refresh the knowledge levels of the individual, but also provides assurance for the organisation.

The content is adaptable in order for future and further modification to be conducted, such as policy and procedure changes. The project is going to be expanded into other clinical areas such as: Midwifes, Paediatrics etc. A knowledge audit can be conducted on all staff undertaking any of the modules/subjects, this will contribute to the workforce training plan for the organisation, ensuring they are providing the right amount of training but more importantly in the right subject for the identified training needs to increase the safety and care of our patients.

All activity can be reported, tracked and monitored in order for the organisation to have assurance on staff’s knowledge to transfer them from one area to another if required.

Based on 10% of the nursing workforce at Pennine Acute, the following results were obtained:

  • 79.34% of nurses completing V-Care said it improved their patient care and safety.
  • 67.39% of nurses who completed V-Care in their opinion would consider the V-Care project to be a valuable resource for all clinical professional groups in the future.
  • 57.61% of nurses thought it would help nurses in providing better quality care.
  • 57.61% of nurses said that completing V-Care stimulated them to do further reading, self-directed study, training or research.
  • 47.83% of nurses felt that completing V-Care highlighted further learning and training needs to them.
  • 42.39% of nurses completed V-Care at home demonstrating the platform is readily available.
  • 89.13% of nurses found V-Care clear and easy to interpret.
  • 84.79% of nurses found the V-Care structure and content are well arranged.
  • 93.48% of nurses found V-Care easy to log in and navigate around the site resulting in very little training required to use the e-Learning platform.
  • 92.39% of nurses experienced no difficulties in saving their progress and resuming where they left off.

The evaluation of the sample group needed to capture data relating to the opinions of the participants regarding the value, relevance and suitability of the programme and their views regarding the validity and level of the assessments. Also the evaluation needed to elicit information regarding the use of the new learning platform both within the Trust and remotely or from a mobile device. The evaluation was underpinned by Attwell’s guide to the evaluation of e-learning (2006).

Below is a short summary of the comments received on V-Care:

 “I learnt the most about Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) and Sepsis. It also built my confidence with other aspects of patient care, allowing me to look after patients to the best of my ability using up to date evidence based knowledge.”

 “It’s given me the confidence to know I’m giving my patients the best evidence based up to date care that there is.”

 “So easy I wanted to complete it and enjoyed doing it.”

 “V-Care is really easy to use.”

 “It will empower nurses and give them the confidence to question practice out there.”

 “One of the improvements is the handover document, it’s now in line with Trust policy which enhances patient care.”

 “V-Care highlights risks we come across in our day to day practice, on an individual level it also highlights areas of weakness that people may feel they need to do further study on and that within itself will have a massive impact on our clinical practice.”

NHS Workforce Information Network details further information

March 2017