1 August 2023
As we know July saw the 75th anniversary of the NHS and there was plenty going on all around the system to celebrate. Lots of work at conferences, exhibitions and workshops encouraging the future workforce to consider any part of it as a career.
Steve from UI3D (our 360vr creator) and I did a workshop at the UTC on the Olympic Legacy Park in Sheffield on the 4th July where we talked about the fact that the training pathways to some health careers were changing with the addition of new apprenticeships, so too were the methods to deliver training. With the addition of new digital tools to enhance learning comes, so too do the roles to support that. We talked about developers and technicians’ posts, people who were trained in setting up simulations and the accompanying technology and the fact that some clinicians who were educators were also learning how to use the tech in order to create an enhanced experience within their teaching sessions.
Then later that week some of our hub colleagues (including Lisa, a lead practice nurse on our leadership programme) and I presented a workshop at the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust Education Conference about what we were doing in the world of teaching and technology. It generated a buzz and many questions and have led to me giving advice to an STH colleague on products she could use and how.
The word is spreading!
It does seem that now the Long-Term Workforce Plan (LTWP) is out, that there are discussions about how the target numbers of new trainees will actually be attained. I mean in all seriousness, where are they going to sit??? The main reason practices are citing for them expecting not to be able to meet the target numbers is the full to capacity estate. Trainees in a practice is great, they get first hand real experience of the role and of patients and how the practice works but the space was already squeezed when the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) staff came in. Similarly, any pharmacist training in the community requires supervision, capacity and time built into the working day for the supervisor to train and over see them, they too would struggle to take on more trainees. So, is this not the time to try and do things slightly differently? Can we look at the Innovation Centre creating placement activity that is fit for purpose, suits the needs of the trainee and their learning outcomes? Does technology not allow us increase capacity? YES!!!
I think that the LTWP does support the creation of the Innovation Centre, it’s my job now to convince NHSE that this is the solution they need! First for South Yorkshire but then for other regions to follow??
The next thing I need to do is to put some of the recommendations I made after the testing, into practice. After the success of the session on the 6th June with BodySwaps and Re:Course, I have been speaking to the GP School leads to see if these products could be a solution for them and to see how the Hub could help facilitate the use of them. It’s certainly true that they could use the Innovation Centre space to train from and there was an appetite to do so.
We will be using the BodySwaps licences in December for sessions with the Hub’s Reception and Admin Programme and looking at how we set up and facilitate our own sessions. I need to get headsets, charging units and a management contract for these set up and in place (whilst also trying to find suitable and secure storage for them… if only we had a building). I need to see how we develop sessions using Re:Course and at what level. The GP trainees were clearly impressed and understood where they would have used it whilst studying for exams so its clear there is a need for it.
I went back to the North TEL hub based at the Hull Institute of Learning and Simulation (HiLS) with Johanna, a research nurse colleague in the hub, where we looked at what possible tools we could use to teach the Roma community about the lungs and diseases associated with them. Looking at the HCT headset with the apps JoinXR and GigXR to see if they have enough appropriate visual representation for the teaching session. Another exciting project potentially.
With all this activity, all this proving the concept and all the overwhelming evidence and guidance pointing to the need for a facility such as this… what are the chances we’ll be successful getting the funding? A big solution demands a big investment and I’m not naive to the fact that there isn’t much around for buildings and shiny new toys.
As I described this week to the Hub team; I feel like I’m in two seats.
1 – Sitting pretty with a fantastic offer, a real solution to a big problem and I’m so happy and excited.
2 – Sitting worrying and contemplating the slim-to-no chance of this actually happening without any investment.
I do hate to end on a low note, its not my natural disposition but it’s a reality currently. Let’s see what August brings.
Thank you, as always for reading 😊