Student Stories

Student Story: Jayne Headland

11 August

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Student Story: Jayne Headland

Can you tell us about yourself and your role?

My name is Jayne Headland, and I am the Digital Learning Manager at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV). We’re Mental Health Trust covering some of the Northeast and North Yorkshire. I work in the Digital and Data Services department and my role is to cover the Digital Learning materials for any IT system, software, or processes that we have in place. I have worked at the NHS for 11 years and originally joined with a degree in psychology. Firstly, I entered the trust working in the information department in terms data and statistics. And then I worked as an engagement manager, where I was linked between clinical services & the IT department.

Then in June of last year, we restructured and split off into digital learning and digital projects, where I decided to go down the digital learning route. So I am now the manager of a team of 8 employees, consisting of the digital learning lead who supports me, and then we’ve got 7 digital learning officers. It’s all new and the pandemic definitely shifted us to going digital and virtual in terms of our eLearning.

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Can you share a little bit about the projects you’re working on, and some challenges you might have faced?

From a digital learning perspective, we have supported the training for our patient system, which I guess is the key bread & butter of our role. When the pandemic hit, we were delivering face to face training, which we obviously couldn’t anymore. Taking that remotely, we were condensing full day training courses down into hour & a half slots, in the form of Microsoft Teams sessions. We also very quickly created Word documents and videos to support that approach as well and to increase those guidance materials that we had.

Now we are currently moving to a new electronic patient record and looking at designing a full digital learning package because that’s the strategic direction of the trust now. So that’s where we paused and had a look to see what sort of training was out there because we didn’t have any background in the area… and that’s when we found the Digital Learning Institute.

In what areas did the Digital Learning Institute help to develop you and your team to achieve the outcomes of which you needed in the new way of working?

We found the DLI brochure online and straightaway thought it was something that we really wanted to do. After those first initial discussions we realised it ticked all the boxes that we required. As we were coming from a restructure, we didn’t have that training and background that was needed so we were really starting from a blank. The course helped us fill in some of those gaps in our knowledge and give us those templates &processes that we needed to work towards. So initially that was the best thing for us because when we started, we knew that we needed wireframes and storyboards, but we were fumbling around with that.

Using the DLI course, because it was an eLearning course itself, it gave us a really good example of what we were looking for, where we wanted to go and what things worked from a learner perspective, which was really beneficial. It also talked through some of the software that was available which meant we could then have a look and see what was going to be the best choice for us, and since then we have purchased Articulate and have really been flying with that. The Digital Learning Institute have also offered us support for using that software and they also really helped us in terms of linking it with our LMS, which we already had in place as it wasn’t quite as straightforward as we had thought. So that experienced technical support pointed us in exactly the direction we needed to go. It’s taken a lot of stress and pressure off us, so that is already in place now.

How did the DLI programme help support your career individually?

I had a lot of those moments that you could described as imposter syndrome, feeling like I’m in this role that kind of I shouldn’t be. It gave me that foundation and covered all the things that I needed in terms of my role, but also it made me realise that there were a lot of things that people who come from a training background that were used to delivering face to face, but it’s very different virtually. Which put us all on that even scale and helped us learn together and giving e us the same terminology.

We had one member of staff who said they hadn’t got any type of certificate for 30 years, so it was really nice for them at the end of the course to come out with a training certificate. That was a bonus for them, but also made me think about the fact that training & qualifications that some people have are very quickly out of date in the environment we work in, in terms of IT.

What benefits did it have for the rest of the organisation?

We’re just at the start of releasing our first eLearning module for one of our systems, and the feedback we’ve got so far has been really, really positive. The trainings a lot easier to understand, especially for some of our neurodiverse staff or those with less digital skills. It’s a lot simpler, a lot more straightforward, but it’s also a lot more engaging. I think being a new team there’s probably some people that didn’t see the need for us as such, but actually now that we’ve got some of those really good examples to share and now people are saying they want us to make more. So I’m slowing down my promotion of our team because I’m a little bit worried that our to do list will get too big. But I guess that’s what every team manager wants, is that appreciation.

You mentioned there’s a couple of fairly big projects on the horizon for the team to work, so what does the next 12 months look like for you?

Our electronic patient record is completely changing, and we have to put a whole new system in place which goes live in September. We’ve got almost 9000 staff that we need to train on that. So that’s really our focus for the next couple of months, we are really trying to nail that down and get that whole eLearning package created.

We are also adopting e-prescribing as well, so we will then transfer onto that. And we’ve also got a couple of smaller systems, for example our data system, which we’ve just created a basic course for but we’re looking at how we can really extend that and break that down into more specifics, and the benefits of the system & the training.

Why was it that you selected DLI to help develop the capabilities of yourself and your team?

If I’m completely honest, we googled, and it was one of the top results. And your course just ticked all the boxes for what we needed. After the experience that we’ve had, we definitely want to work with you more and we’ve got a couple of new staff members which we are looking at sending them on the same course. Our staff just cannot speak highly enough of the Digital Learning Institute and they’re eager to look and develop more, seeing what other courses you will have available.

What was the learning experience with the DLI like for you and your team members?

Every 3 weeks we have dedicated an afternoon for development time. So staff can use that to do their own study or research. As a manager, I felt that it was essential that my team had this protected time. If staff don’t want to use it, they don’t have to, but we have that focused, available time and it’s blocked in their diary so nothing else can get booked. That’s something we’ve really committed to as an organisation and for our department. Because we were a new team and our slate was pretty blank, we had that gift of time which allowed us to do it early on. We’ve almost had a 12-month grace period, knowing about the things that were coming in the future and having the availability to take that time now to develop.

What advice would you give someone who is on the fence, wondering if this something that they should invest time and resources into?

My response would be to go for it. The industry is moving so quickly but eLearning is where the future is. This course is the base and the foundation you need, and it also gives you the contacts that you need to progress, while supplying you with that theory and a real solid foundation. It brings so many different elements in, there’s probably not a formal pathway into or out of it, so it opens the doors for so many opportunities. I never would have thought that I’d be where I am today, coming here with a degree in psychology, but absolutely love the role. I also love the support the course has given to me, and I definitely want to progress, because this is the future.