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What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

Healthcare education is advertised in both print media and across hundreds of websites and it is often difficult for professionals to find relevant local or online CPD. We do need however to reduce travel and engage with online education for reasons such as covid and the environment. Education is only of value if it can be found and the CPDmatch website/app facilitates this by accommodating adverts from NHS, independent and corporate organisations providing healthcare education so the 1.4 million NHS staff only have to access one website to find out what is happening locally and online.

The site was launched in Feb-2020, 6 weeks before Covid but we adapted and collaborated with numerous education providers across the UK to ensure healthcare professionals could continue to professionally develop during lockdown. The amount of education listed and site use is increasing and continued growth will help staff, patients and the environment.

What does your project aim to achieve?

The 3 objectives are:

  • To enable all 1.4 million NHS healthcare professionals to easily find relevant, accessible and affordable online and on-site courses, conferences, study days and webinars.
  • Through utilising geographic matching and accommodating online events, to reduce CPD associated travel and hotel stays (reducing the carbon cost of attending) and reduce the exposure of healthcare workers through face-2-face events.
  • By providing a service which is free to global healthcare professionals, we aim to improve access to online education and webinars for individuals in low-resourced countries.

 

How will the project be delivered?

Following over 2 years of self-funded development and fund raising through seeking sponsorship/match grants, I launched the site in February 2020. In order to take the idea from concept to reality, I formed a team consisting of a software developer, marketing/brand agency and healthcare professionals. We were supported by numerous bodies including Health Education England (NENC), RTC, AHSN NE/NWC, Sunderland Software City and the Newcastle-Gateshead Initiative.

Software development and brand expertise with a dedicated project manager has ensured our development is focussed and efficient with maximal output for the invested finance. Feedback throughout the launch phase has enabled us to fine-tune the platform and improve the user-experience. Impact is measured through metrics such as organisation sign up, event numbers and Google Analytics. Risk is managed internally through collaboration between the stakeholders listed above and at present, this approach is working very well as we have an excellent relationship.

How is your project going to share learning?

The site is called CPDmatch as the goal was to match the education needs of 1.4 million NHS healthcare professionals with relevant, accessible and affordable on-site and online educational opportunities. We started off being fully inclusive, capturing all professions and ensuring that inequalities in access to education across the NHS were reduced. We have been fortunate to secure organisations such as Royal Colleges and Societies, large Associations and smaller, local CPD providers and are therefore able to provide an immediate service whilst formally testing our ethos.

We now understand that improving access to online events and webinars is not only good for the environment and for staff (avoiding gatherings due to covid) but is also important globally as through CPDmatch, organisations can effective advertise to healthcare staff in low-resourced countries and enable them to receive the same online education as professionals in the UK (“Global Online”).

How you can contribute

  • Feedback on the concept - will this be of use to you?
  • To test the site and provide feedback relating to User Experience - is it intuitive to use, how can we improve?
  • To communicate the presence of the site to healthcare professionals in the UK and around the globe.
  • To register and list any on-site or online events they are responsible for.

Plan timeline

3 Jan 2021 Start of final phase software development
31 Mar 2021 Completion of final phase software development

Comments

  1. Richard,

    This is a great idea and I do hope that you take it forward. If you need any process visualizations done then please let me know as I'd love to help. Good luck with your idea.

    Tom

  2. Good idea - did you test it first across the region?

    My biggest difficulty with hosting CPD currently is that it is all online and there is no NHS platform with authentication as often anonymised cases, agreed with patients, are discussed - hopefully MS Teams will help although I doubt rollout will be that smooth

    1. Hi Yincent, thanks for the comment. We first intended to test across the NE (all specialties) and national for my own specialty, anaesthesia and ICM but due to covid, the roll out became a little more 'organic'. In order to accommodate the acute national needs with respects to covid-associated education we therefore created the profession-specialty-interest tree to capture all 1.4 million NHS staff.

      Your problem re: central advertising will be solved with CPDmatch as we are now focusing attention on support virtual courses, conferences, study days and webinars. Not only will this give you and all education providers a single place to advertise but we can also market events globally. I am presently in discussion with the Dept Int Trade working on a plan for what we are calling GLOBAL ONLINE so we can export UK healthcare education to all including professionals in low-resourced countries.

      All we need is for the 'NHS' to support us in creating this central repository for CPD advertising and of course, to secure the funds to develop the platform to the highest possible standard and then ensure all 1.4 million healthcare professionals are aware of its existence.

      Cheers, Richard.

  3. Guest

    Jo Bangoura 1 month ago

    Hi Richard,

    This looks like a great initiative, well done on getting this far.  Just one question from me: I was recently made aware of the NHS Learning Platform at https://learninghub.nhs.uk.  How does your product differ from this one?

    Thanks,

    Jo

    1. Hi Jo, thanks for the heads-up and link to HEE's BETA site. I have had a number of discussions with HEE regarding eLFH/The Learning Hub and CPDmatch co-existing as we definitely have different approaches and aims.

      The Learning Hub is a hosting platform whereas we are pure signposting. This means that all our education providers already have their CPD in place and simply need somewhere to advertise. As we accommodate ads from big providers like the Royal Colleges and Associations, it means everyone including the smallest of departments can advertise on a level playing field.

      We also accommodate all types of CPD: on-site, online, webinar and on-demand (date on application) whereas the HEE resources focus very much online. We accommodate on-site and combine with geographic matching to ensure users are matched with local events of relevance rather than travelling miles for the same education.

      Other differences between HEE platforms and CPDmatch is that there is no need to register/for Open Athens to use, we have a saved search facility which ensures users are proactively made aware of new listings and as a non-hosting platform, we drive users to the provider's website so it is not only the CPD which they are exposed to but the whole platform.

      We also have several new features in development that ensures that CPDmatch will become even more user-friendly and useful and although some I cannot talk about openly due to reasons of IP, I can share that our frontpage will soon be more Google-like with elastic search facilities. This will extend into our mobile phone app making the whole platform much easier to use.

      I hope that helps and it is good to be reminded of what is out there to ensure we are sufficiently different !

      Regards, Richard.

  4. Hi Richard. This sounds like a really useful idea, which has wide-reaching potential benefits for healthcare professionals and has been adapted for our new "normal". To generate up some support and help along the lines you suggested above, it might be worth posting your idea onto a member group. There is one called Educators as Improvers - this might help connect you in with similar folk in this field.

    I'm working with the Health Foundation to support bidders in finding connections and possible co-collaborators, so I'll look out for this as the Q Exchange rounds progress.  Good luck! Emma

    1. Hi Emma, thanks so much for the comment and advice re: posting which I will do now. I have liaised with both Alex Davis and Penny Pereira at The Health Foundation and they are both aware of the project.

      You are also completely correct that platforms such as CPDmatch will be increasingly important as we adjust to the new normal. Hopefully others too will see the potential.

      Have a great weekend, Richard.

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