How Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust used Learn LMS on their journey to outstanding
Learn how Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust transformed their L&D strategy with Learn LMS.
Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust is one of the largest hospital trusts in North Kent, with services at three sites providing healthcare for a local population of over 500,000 people.
Their vision is to be an outstanding hospital trust by providing the best possible care that is safe, well-coordinated, and designed around the patient’s needs. The Trust’s vision and core trust values guide everything they do: care with compassion, respect and dignity, striving to excel, professional standards, and working together.
Two of the Trust’s six strategy pillars are ‘joy at work’ and ‘digital first’. They recognise that staff who have been invested in as people through access to learning and development, feel happier and safer within their work. ‘Digital first’ is placed at the centre of their journey to outstanding, recognising the benefits of digital transformation across our organisation.
The Learning and Development team support 4,500 staff in continuing their professional development, ensuring that all their staff complete their mandatory and statutory training requirements, keeping themselves, the organisation, and their patients safe and well looked after.
The Engage team are a new team within L&D that supports the Trust in implementing and delivering the learning transformation programme, with their Learning Management System (LMS), Learn, delivered by Kallidus at the heart of it all.
Before Kallidus’ Learn LMS, there was little time for the L&D team to deliver anything more than statutory and mandatory training. The previous LMS required a great deal of manual intervention, and an administration team of six people to support the recording of training from other systems. This included updating records, booking staff training, and producing KPI reports – which were typically out of date once delivered.
Not only was it difficult for the administration team, but also for users. Learners had to complete their training in a number of different systems, email evidence of completion to the L&D team for entry to the old system, and call administrators within office hours to book courses. With no self-service or out-of-hours operation for our night staff, there was no instant access to learning.
In 2019, a new Chief People Officer joined the Trust and immediately recognised the need to prioritise L&D. Realising that the existing system was underperforming and unsustainable, the CPO knew L&D within the trust needed to be modernised. This created the case for the Trust to invest in a new LMS to support its journey and growth towards being a learning organisation.
The Trust required a new LMS to bring together the disparate learning and education functions within the organisation, supporting our values of working together.
With, Kallidus’ Learn LMS, they hoped to achieve the following:
- 90% completion of mandatory training once the system is fully embedded, with a single repository for all training, learning, and education activities.
- Efficiencies gained from reduction in administration and reporting burden with instant dashboards, reports for learning and education activities, and the ability to understand training needs.
- Line managers and staff are empowered to own and manage learning and development activities with greater visibility of skills development and impact on the quality of care.
- Retention of skills linked to increasing access to learning and development with clear training needs to be aligned to Trust strategy and objectives, using staff survey & exit data.
- Contribute to our journey towards outstanding, providing real-time and quality evidence of training, education, and development for CQC assessments.
LMS success transformation
As a trust, they wanted to improve their compliance with their Mandatory and Statutory learning. Implementing Learn LMS, internally known as engage, allowed the trust to fulfil this objective as it increased learning engagement, improved access and provided oversight of competencies and validation.
As part of their journey to be ‘outstanding’, the trust’s MAST KPI is 85%. Before Learn LMS was implemented, the MAST average was 82%. Now, the MAST average stands at 92%, a true testament to the benefits of Learn LMS.
With Learn LMS, they have provided a seamless self-service model to users that is more reactive, real-time, and integrated with NHS systems, including eLearning for Healthcare, ESR, intranet ADAGIO and the Brayden Resuscitation simulation system.
The trust has gained many efficiencies by being able to report in real-time. With instant dashboards and reports for learning activities and the ability to understand training needs, the reduction in administration and reporting burden has been game-changing. Since implementing Learn LMS, the team could downsize three administration roles, reducing costs and increasing efficiency. What would take one employee two weeks to finalise and send out reports, is now completed automatically on the same day, ensuring key stakeholders gain real-time data.
Learn LMS has facilitated the delivery of the strategic pillars and objectives of the Trust. Learn LMS has enabled a one-stop shop for all training and education activities across the Trust. What was once spread across multiple learning platforms, is now in one centralised place, without duplication.
A real benefit identified was that Learn LMS told users exactly what they needed to do, and by when – something they didn’t have before.
Effective return on investment
With training once always completed in a classroom, Learn LMS provided the platform for eLearning and blended learning, which has saved the Trust time and money. What used to be a full day of training in the classroom for nursing professionals, has now been reduced by 50%, enabling the engage team to double the amount of training they can fulfil each day, utilising resources efficiently. Resuscitation courses have now been reduced from 3 hours to just 1 hour, ensuring staff are trained faster so they can return to the frontline much quicker than before.
The make-up of these teams is also changing to reflect the opportunities provided by the LMS and digital transformation in education. Savings have been made in posts used for administration and reporting, and new posts are being created for developing their internal eLearning capacity and in building our new leadership programmes with a blended approach.
“Engage has made it easier to access and understand the position of my mandatory training at any time, I have found it intuitive and a helpful way to ensure I am always up to date.” – Dr Steve Fenlon, Consultant Anaesthetist
Effective use of available technologies
With Kallidus’ Learn LMS partnership with Articulate 360, there are now teams using this content-authoring tool throughout the clinical teams in the hospital to build eLearning.
For example, the clinical digital systems team have built over 30 bespoke eLearning programmes, moving the majority of their training from pre-booked Teams sessions to instantly available eLearning. They have also built eLearning to support the launch of three new clinical systems that are transforming patient flow across the hospital, enabling the trust to rank 2nd in England by the Telegraph’s NHS performance tracker.
The resuscitation trainers have moved from limited-capacity classroom sessions that took 3 hours, to a blended programme that takes half of that time. Staff now complete eLearning and their practical training on 24/7 self-service resuscitation dolls that are linked to our LMS, where their results and compliance are updated automatically. This robustly evaluates the quality of CPR staff provide in simulation and allows staff to be returned to the front line to care for the patients quicker than before.
Dartford and Gravesham are one of the first Trusts to implement a new interface between the NHS HR system, ESR, and Kallidus, allowing for training records to transfer between trusts, resulting in faster onboarding of new staff who do not have to re-complete valid compliance training. Mandatory training achieved is transferred back into ESR, enabling seamless staff movement between Trusts.
Enhanced opportunities for learning
Kallidus’ OTS eLearning courses provided a breadth of new learning opportunities for staff, supporting their development of leadership and management, soft skills, and team dynamics.
Giving line managers and staff the empowerment to own and manage their training, learning, development, and education activities has provided greater visibility of skills development, creating a positive impact on the quality of care.
Due to the capability of Learn LMS, the courses available to the wider NHS, provided by eLearning for healthcare, were available on the LMS via AICC links.
Successful implementation of Learn LMS
The implementation of Learn LMS in August 2021 has been a huge success. 98% of their staff have logged into the system, with around 600 users visiting per day. Since the launch, 238,000 lessons have been completed, and mandatory training compliance has risen from 81% to 91%.
Staff now have 24/7 access to a wide range of courses and learning resources, and the engage team are constantly working to add new courses and providers to the system every week. It really is ‘all your training in one place’.
Learn LMS has transformed how learning is completed within the trust, supporting the staff, and allowing them to take a step closer to the highest CQC rating on their journey to outstanding.
“Engage is extremely user-friendly and makes it easy to record and track progress with my team’s objectives. It easily identifies statutory and mandatory training and sends alerts. I am looking forward to using engage to administer face-to-face workshops – this makes the process of booking on and getting the materials to the delegates very efficient.” – Kristen Cluer, Head of Employee Relations