The NHS, councils and other partners are working together to decide how they can better integrate care locally through the creation of Integrated Care Systems.

This means colleagues across all those organisations will need to be clear how they can work differently together, each with different processes and methods of combining data and digital technology.

To streamline and accelerate this requires careful choices on learning, so that the thousands of staff involved are clear on the next steps for them in their organisation, in their particular role.

Every individual will need to build the right level of knowledge to help them better do their job in the new ICS world, whether they work in primary or secondary care, physical or mental health services, public health and councils, or other partner organisations. And each will need a personalised learning experience to make ICSs a real success.

The quickest and most effective way to achieve this will be with the help of cutting-edge digital learning techniques to speed up the roll out of learning.

These important developments link closely to the wider health and care digital transformation, which is enabling the ambitions in the NHS Long Term Plan to become a reality.

Me Learning works with both public and private sector clients to provide learning to support large scale change programmes, so we have put together this short guide to help you consider the main factors on learning as part of your ICS transformation.

1. Create buy-in so everybody understands how they fit into the bigger picture

For senior managers large-scale change can feel new and exciting. They tend to find it easy to focus on the anticipated outcomes and how the world will be better after change is implemented.

But for those on the ground and more removed from the decision-making process, change can feel more like an irritant that will make their lives more difficult so it can be scary and stressful.

Given the current focus on wellbeing especially on the back of Covid, it is important to reduce feelings of change-related stress and anxiety by providing effective learning to properly prepare staff for the challenges they face.

A simple video or animation to win ‘hearts and minds’ at the start of a change programme works wonders and is something we often provide to our clients. They highlight the benefits and help individuals understand how their contribution fits into the bigger picture, offering reassurance on what to expect.

Find out how Me Learning worked with Graphnet Health and some of its clients to design and deliver animated videos that highlighted the benefits of the shared care record and guided employees to key information.

2. Digitally-led learning to embed new processes and ways of working

As part of large-scale change programmes, it is important to set expectations on new ways of working so that processes and procedures are quickly understood and embedded, without unnecessary impact on core activities. This is challenging though when it involves thousands of staff across different organisations.

Cutting-edge digital learning reduces the volume aspects of learning and makes it easier to create and deploy personalised training programmes based on role, pace and style of learning. Using technology, learners follow a learning pathway which is right for them by accessing bite-sized modules that are highly engaging, interactive and relevant. This approach reduces the total number of training hours required to get the whole workforce up to speed. Me Learning has used tailored digital learning to train social workers on the Care Act. We also work extensively with different organisations on safeguarding training, targeting content according to levels of competency and learning styles. Our approach enables you to measure understanding and evidence compliance.

3. Software learning

Most major change programmes involve new or expanded use of technology. The creation of ICSs is a good example of this, since some existing IT systems will now be shared across the wider organisation. To realise the full opportunities of joined up care, staff will need to be trained on systems and ways of working that are new to them and that must include systems and any new end-to-end, patient-centred workflows.

Me Learning specialises in creating digitally-led training on technology systems, many of them already used by the NHS and councils.

We create a tailored suite of interactive and demo-style tutorials, process overviews and knowledge checks, which are bite-sized and role-relevant. A scoring matrix is built in, to help measure comprehension and compliance. Knowledge checks assess understanding across a learning pathway so the learner builds confidence and the organisation has the assurance they are ready for go-live. Demo-style tutorials can be used to refresh knowledge as well. Critically, learners have access to training at a time and in a place which suits them, right up to and beyond go-live.

Learners access most training online so everyone in the same role receives exactly the same message, providing consistency and continuity across the whole ICS. Our experience shows that blended learning, with a digital suite for core knowledge and instructor-led training for more complex or specialist areas, provides the best outcomes. Digital learning allows you to mimic the look and feel of the system itself, which provides familiarity ahead of go-live and instructor-led training helps to alleviate some of the anxieties associated with technology and change.

Alongside digital learning, we blend instructor-led training when required which builds learner confidence and enables trainers to focus their time and attention on the areas where they can provide most value – usually more complex, specialist aspects of change which require direct engagement with learners.

Find out how Me Learning successfully designed and delivered a comprehensive programme of learning to 1800 employees in Dudley Council entirely online during the pressure of Covid-19 using a combination of digital learning, live virtual sessions with a trainer and innovative virtual floor walking.

And, with more patient services being offered online, it’s important to remember the patient journey. Short, animated videos will help patients understand what ICSs are about or get to grips with new technology and devices. They can be used to support a wider inclusive approach and also free-up employee time for key care and treatment activities.

We believe that the arrival of ICSs presents enormous opportunities for people in localities as well as the people working together to provide care to these local populations. We believe that modern, digitally-led learning the NHS, councils and other partners will accelerate progress, help to streamline the way services are coordinated, improve population health and reduce inequalities faster.

If you wish to discuss any of the topics covered in this article contact our team on You can also join us virtually on September 29th to discuss how the NHS can get the full benefit of the technology systems they use as we move to a more integrated health and care system. Click here to register so you don’t miss it.

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