Providing staff with the necessary knowledge and confidence to deliver better patient care during COVID-19
As the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic became apparent, Health Education England wanted to assist NHS Trusts and their partners address the huge upskilling challenge with taking on new and returning staff, and rapidly upskilling existing staff faced with unprecedented pressures.
Clinicalskills.net was perfectly suited to meet this challenge; the clinical guidelines are constantly updated, reflect the latest guidance, and the highly impactful and detailed illustrations provide the users with memorable step-by-step guides for the majority of clinical procedures required to provide the very best patient care.
Within days the clinicalskills.net team enabled access to specific content to all trusts and partner organisations who were not already active clinicalskills.net clients for the duration of the 3-month programme. The uptake was excellent, and it was gratifying to be able to meet this need for extra support and training so effectively. I am certain that the availability of this resource will have provided many staff with the necessary knowledge and confidence to deliver better patient care, improve outcomes and save lives.
Feedback from the education teams, nursing directorates and individual staff members has been overwhelmingly positive and I know many of the organisations who benefited from access to clinicalskills.net during the programme have chosen to adopt clinicalskills.net to deliver a more blended learning approach to skills training – something that seems certain to be increasingly the norm as we emerge from the pandemic.
I would whole-heartedly endorse clinicalskills.net as a vital online reference resource and learning tool and would personally like to thank the entire team at clinicalskills.net for their responsiveness, commitment, and dedication throughout the pandemic.
Professor John Clark, Regional Head of Nursing, Health Education England
An essential resource
clinicalskills.net is an essential resource that is embedded in our clinical skills and simulation teaching framework.
It supports students and academic staff to prepare for clinical skills sessions with detailed, accurate and up-to-date procedural guidelines. Lecturers and students alike utilise the step-by-step procedures in a variety of ways to enhance learning before, during and after a clinical skills session.
Students enjoy using clinicalskills.net. They find it to be a vital resource to consolidate learning after a clinical skills session and a key point of reference during practice placements.
We have the reassurance that our students always have direct access to the latest evidence-based guidelines for clinical skills procedures. Just when you think a procedure needs revision, or a new one should be added, the team at clinicalskills.net, together with their expert authors, will have updated or created a new procedure to reflect current practice.
The team are always on hand to swiftly respond to any questions and support us with managing our student accounts.
Karen Cairnduff, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Skills, Simulation Lead for Adult Nursing, University of Hertfordshire
Accessible formats for various types of learners
clinicalskills.net is an invaluable resource for our students and staff here at the University of the West of England. The content is relevant, up to date, evidence based, and peer assessed. The site is easy to navigate and presents its material in accessible formats for various types of learners. The tests, checklists, and notes tools are a great way to assess comprehension, encourage best practice and record continuing professional development. The clinicalskills.net team have always been super helpful and responsive with any of my queries.
Gemma Witchard, Senior Technical Instructor, University of the West of England
Aftersales support is excellent
Since 2020 we have integrated clinicalskills.net into our preregistration nursing curriculum. Students find it easy to navigate and appreciate the breakdown of a skill into picture format. As an academic I have found the aftersales care and support from clinicalskills.net to be excellent, receiving help and support when I needed it.
Dr Kate Goodhand, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen
Extensive content is easy to access
At the University of Plymouth, all of our undergraduate nursing students, as well as some of our postgraduate nursing students, have access to the clinicalskills.net platform. The extensive, up-to-date and ever-growing content is easy to access and is used to support the delivery of undergraduate clinical skills teaching across the nursing curriculum. The medical calculations assessments are particularly helpful in preparing students for their numeracy examinations each year.
Suzi Robinson, Lecturer in Adult Nursing, Clinical Skills and Practice Simulation Lead, Plymouth University
An excellent resource for our faculty
clinicalskills.net has been an integral part of our programme in Adult Nursing. We use the site as an illustrative learning resource as a pre-reading to clinical skills and simulated sessions. This provides students of varying learning needs with written and visual learning components. I also set a short quiz for students prior to each session to ensure that pre-reading has been completed, this is a helpful resource to monitor students’ progress. The system is accessible and easy to use as a faculty member and an excellent resource to our faculty.
Grace McDonald, Lecturer in Nursing Education, King's College London
An invaluable resource for the clinical staff
clinicalskills.net has proven to be an invaluable resource for the clinical staff. Knowing that the evidence base is being kept current and that we can also annotate local context is helpful. The staff are very helpful in helping set up user accounts and continue to be supportive when we need them.
Jacqui Bryceland, Deputy Nurse Director (Interim), Head of Nursing: Care Assurance and Safe Staffing, NHS Forth Valley
Day-to-day support from the clinicalskills.net team has been outstanding
clinicalskills.net has helped enhance and complement our learning systems at the university. Students and staff have found it easy to access and the detailed pictures and supporting evidence have been invaluable for research and practical sessions, where students can access the information as they need it. The day-day support of the team at clinicalskills.net has been outstanding.
Nicola Guthrie, Deputy Head of School for Skills and Simulation, Anglia Ruskin University
Supports the knowledge and skills of our students and staff
clinicalskills.net is an excellent resource to support the knowledge and skills of our students and staff and enables them to remain up to date with current best practice. The aftersales support has been incredibly responsive to our needs
Emily Salt, Professional Lead Adult Nursing and Safeguarding Lead, Keele University
I feel like I’ve lacked confidence in my ability. But clinicalskills.net has honestly given me that eureka moment where it’s all kind of clicked.
1st year Nursing student, University of Brighton
Feedback has been amazing
We have been using clinicalskills.net at Leonard Cheshire since December 2018 and feedback so far has been amazing. One of our nurses told me yesterday that clinicalskills.net is better than another well-known online resource she is used to using, so she will be using clinicalskills.net in future. Team leaders are loving having the resource to broaden their skills, but also printing out the pdfs of the procedures is giving them confidence as they can literally follow the step-by-step guide. From my perspective, word is spreading nicely now and our quality team and clinical governance team are recommending to services that they use your system, which is why the number of licenses has grown as it has, and there is a high level of enthusiasm from staff.
Wendy Bennett, Learning and Development Operations Manager, Leonard Cheshire Disability
Standardising nursing skills throughout the country
Can I just say that the resources you provide are fantastic! What makes them more valuable is the fact that they help to standardise nursing skills throughout the country.
Renette Ellson, Senior Lecturer Adult Nursing, University of Central Lancashire
Improved clinical outcomes
As a large not for profit social care provider with 26 residential care homes offering nursing, residential care and domiciliary care packages across multiple counties in the south of England, Somerset Care is committed to ensuring best practice is delivered to every customer we serve and as a provider also responsible for supporting every registered nurse working within Somerset Care to have access to instant knowledge of that best practice. There is a real challenge in keeping nurses knowledge up to date in ever changing healthcare environments where the demands and care complexities are growing particularly for nurses working in social care settings. The care home nurse we require and aspire to support within Somerset Care needs to be an expert in multiple aspects of person centred care and needs to maintain their clinical knowledge and competency in multiple clinical areas. Clinicalskills.net not only helps us to support the delivery of best practice but is also a very useful tool for supporting clinical improvements at home and company level. The system is used by our local universities so some of our workforce were already familiar with using it.
The process of implementing clinical skills.net within the company was a very simple exercise. Following an initial meeting where the service specification was described and reviewed we underwent a one off training session and test of the system (delivered by Ben at Clinical Skills locally) for myself as clinicalskills.net lead (responsible for our local roll out) and a small group of our nursing home managers and clinical leads who we designated would be responsible for overseeing their team's progress in using the system. Somerset Care decided to set a number of modules for mandatory completion in the areas we felt as a company needed most assurance that our nurses hold knowledge and competency in that area. Some of the mandatory modules included CPR, bowel care, medicines management and medication calculations. As clinical governance manager I regularly check clinicalskills.net to help provide me with the assurance that our new and existing workforce are meeting mandatory requirements. The reports on clinicalskills.net are a very easy and effective way of supporting this assurance. The reports and system analysis is also very helpful for planning and identifying training needs both individually and collectively.
As a company we have received some very positive feedback from our nurse users. Some of this feedback includes;
- Users feel the system supports their CPD and is extremely effective when revalidating with the NMC
- Users have stated they feel reassured they are referring to updated best practice which is written by experts and easy to access. They have noticed a reduction in differences of opinion within teams as all team members refer to consistent information.
- Users have stated they find accessing the system on their smartphones very easy and often complete module assessments from home which they find very convenient way of learning
- Users have stated the PDF versions of the clinical modules are a useful tool for the home to use for teaching and reference
- Users feel the modules are a very effective way of refreshing existing knowledge and supporting their practice where they come into contact with a less common clinical procedure or a resident with a less common condition they are caring for
Somerset Care have been impressed by how easy the implementation process has been, the support we have received by the team at clinicalskills.net and the impact the implementation has had on our nursing workforce. The impact on clinical outcomes and improvements however is challenging to quantify however local data is beginning to show a reduction in unplanned hospital admissions and medication calculation errors which is very encouraging to see.
Julia Heneker, Clinical Governance Manager, Somerset Care Ltd
Fantastic customer service !
Clinical skills is a fantastic training resource and since joining in April 2018 the staff feedback has been excellent, as a training manager I find it exceptionally easy to keep track of the student users and monitor their progress which is a must in our line of work!
Fantastic customer service and always someone on hand to help if we get stuck with something! Well done Clinical skills!
Kelly Hornblow, Clinical Governance/Training Manager, Larchfield House, Maidenhead
Students stay focused on the skill
"Bournemouth University, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences have been associated with the online resource clinicalskills.net since 2006. Within its pre-registration nursing and midwifery programmes the resource was primarily purchased to provide students with an up to date reliable source on which to base their understanding and development of clinical skills.
Over the years the resource has improved as a result of the developer’s commitment to remaining contemporary and their awareness of the constantly changing environments of practice. Such is our confidence in it, we have now purchased the whole package with a view to utilising it to its full extent, not only as a source of information but also as a learning and assessment tool and are currently devising question banks for our students using both Clinical Skills question banks and our own.
As an online resource clinicalskills.net offers ease of use and really comes into its’ own through clear illustrations and text that provides a step by step guide to practice skills. Opportunities for students to assess their own knowledge of practice skills through integrated assessment components and the use of more formalised summative assessments are elements of this resource that we are now incorporating more into our approach to facilitating students learning of practice skills.
An evaluation of the resource revealed that students found it not only met the requirements of the programme content, it also allowed them to view procedures at a time and place that was convenient to them both on and off campus. Equally it acted as an ‘aide memoir’ for students when preparing for their practice skills assessments.
“Easy to access and appropriate to my level of training”
“It is great to know that you have evidence that is really up to date”
“When comparing the evidence to aid discussion it is really useful”
“All you need to know at your fingertips”
“Felt confident in my placement knowing I could access procedures quickly’
From a staff point of view, the beauty of the resource lies in its simplicity whereby there are no distractions therefore the student stays focused on the components of skill. Its flexibility allows for manipulation of the content that enables the user to focus learning that is appropriate and timely.
As a company, the developers of clinicalskills.net have always been very prompt in reacting to any queries we may have and have given us every consideration in respect of Bournemouth University’s own needs and requirements in relation to the content of the resource. This has proved beneficial as it reflects clinical practice as seen in our local trusts.
The cost of the package is comparable to other software available and there have been no problems with access once the link has been established which means that students engage more readily with it.
We are very happy to be associated with clinicalskills.net and look forward to retaining a positive collaborative partnership with them."
Rosalyn Joy, Lecturer-Practice Skills/Team Leader Nursing Skills, and Carolyn Doughty, Clinical Skills Demonstrator, Bournemouth University
Highly customisable and very simple to use, with excellent aftersales service
Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust began subscribing to clinicalskills.net early in 2016. Our subscription provides access to both the procedures and the assessments. Our Clinical Skills Trainer has already incorporated the resource into the delivery of clinical skills training and is using it as pre-training material for HCA bands 3 and 4. The feedback has been very positive, with comments on how the website is very easy to login to, read and use. The Clinical Skills Trainer really likes the format, particularly the step-by-step presentation and the quality of the illustrations. She has not found any discrepancies in the information provided.
Our Director of Medical Education/Deputy Medical Director has also reviewed clinicalskills.net and is very excited! He particularly commented on how good the user-interface is. As clinicalskills.net is highly customisable, it allows organisations both to tailor procedures and devise their own assessments, aligning with local policy and needs; he has great plans to extend its use for our undergraduate and postgraduate medical trainees.
Our Head of Clinical Education and Learning loves the idea of having illustrations rather than videos, because these are so easy to update if/when guidance changes.
The library agreed to fund the resource because we thought that, long term, having clinicalskills.net would be more beneficial to staff (and ultimately patient care) than the purchase of additional textbooks. Given that the Learning Management System for clinicalskills.net is very simple to use, the library team were tasked with creating two e-learning programmes to address patient safety concerns in the Trust, on ‘Safe Placement of Nasogastric Feeding Tubes’ and ‘Clostridium Difficile’ – the idea being that test scores can be incorporated into the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) as evidence of training.
I particularly would like to thank the staff at clinicalskills.net for their excellent aftersales service. Nothing is ever too much trouble and they are always open to ideas/suggestions for making the resource work for us. They have supported us throughout, not only on ideas around the possible structure of the e-learning programmes but also by responding speedily to other requests from us, such as incorporating our Trust logo to highlight the assessments we created ourselves on clinicalskills.net.
Finally, a quote from Our Vocational Training Manager:
“clinicalskills.net is a very useful resource for bands 2-4 within any organisation. It is adaptable as policy varies across NHS organisations. I found it to be clear with the simple display of procedures. I would recommend this to all.”
Angela Hall, Library Service Manager, The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust
"The Administration of Medicines category in clinicalskills.net is a fantastic resource for our nursing students—it's the perfect augmentation to the work we do both in the classroom and simulation centre."
Reuben Pearce, Senior Lecturer—Mental Health, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare, University of West London
Extremely helpful for those on their first placements
"clinicalskills.net is an extremely helpful website for those who like me are nervous but excited about their first placements. Thanks so much! "
Natasha Larrett, Student, University of Birmingham
Delighted with the new clinicalskills.net assessment package
"At LSBU we were seeking a method to support skills sessions, using blended learning, and to provide opportunities for students to test their knowledge of clinical skills. As we were already using the clinicalskills.net procedures, it was an obvious next step to begin using the newly added tests generated from the clinicalskills.net question banks. We designed our own tests so that students could review their knowledge of the procedures such as Basic Life Support, Manual Handling, Infection Control and Medicine Management. As part of our blended learning strategy for curriculum delivery, the tests aided students’ preparation for skills lab sessions and allowed much more focused teaching and facilitation of practical skills during the allotted time.
Most students were compliant with the blended learning and the test activities. They enjoyed the activities and found it useful to them. Lecturers valued the certificate printout for the students, which provided evidence that they had completed the blended learning and test activities prior to class. We found that setting a threshold for a pass helped students to take the activity seriously. Having the tests increased the time available for delivering high-quality supervised practice. The tests helped to enhance students’ understanding of the topics, and made the sessions more meaningful. We are delighted with this new addition to the clinicalskills.net package and we plan to develop our use of the tests further to accompany many more skills sessions."
Gary Francis, Associate Professor, London South Bank University
A recipe for success
"I have been very keen on clinicalskills.net since the first time I saw it. We've now had it for a year, and the whole package is really good—from the way it's presented to the links that take you to the evidence, which save people hunting around for it themselves. It's absolutely a recipe for success. We love the fact that the nurses can print it out and take it home with them to do some revision. That's incredibly helpful because it's sometimes difficult to get computer time on the wards. Competitors have been to see us but we've told them we're very happy with clinicalskills.net!"
James Whatling, Clinical Skills Tutor, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Such a great learning resource
"clinicalskills.net is such a great learning resource for us, we just couldn't be without it! It's not just for students but it is also used by all the academic staff within the nursing department at our college. The up-to-date skills that are presented and supported by such clear illustrations would take hours to research. However, with clinicalskills.net, the resource is only a click away."
Sharon Sherlock, St Angela's College, County Sligo
Keep up the brilliant work
"I cannot praise clinicalskills.net enough for the quality and quantity of their information allowing care staff at all levels, to learn, improve and update their CPD in a range of subjects. The way it’s laid out makes it simple to find the information and follow the links to other areas. References are extensive and encourage further learning. The procedures show clear pictures and use plain language which encourages different styles of learning. Keep up the brilliant work. A gold star? No it deserves at least a DIAMOND STAR. Thank you."
Linda Dixon, Forget Me Not Care Training Support Ltd, Burnley
Excellent training resource
"The urinary catheterisation content on clinicalskills.net provides an excellent training resource"
Julie Munro, Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Much more up to date than many of our policies
"clinicalskills.net is the best thing since sliced bread for nurses--there is no other resource like it! All of our nursing staff have been very enthusiastic about it. It is much more up to date than many of our policies and procedures are--and it is much more visual and easy to follow than they are."
Gary Sutton, Knowledge & Evidence Service Manager, Warrington & Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Easy to use
"The ease of use and simple-to-follow layout of the procedures, plus the ability to search for procedures on clinicalskills.net, leaves the opposition looking very dated."
Michael Reid, Clinical/Management Librarian, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
An invaluable resource
"clinicalskills.net is an invaluable resource because it provides a readily available, user-friendly guide to a wide range of clinical skills that most importantly is regularly updated, which means that staff are able to provide true evidence-based practice to our patients.
The range of clinical skills we are able to access on clinicalskills.net is constantly being expanded so learners and professionals from all stages of their nursing careers are catered for.
The use of pictures and text provide for different learning styles. Useful links to other sites are provided. [clinicalskills.net has an] easy to print-off format [and it is] easy to access to the information you require.
Students who have used clinicalskills.net throughout their University education programmes are now becoming qualified nurses in our clinical areas and are continuing to use clinicalskills.net in their work with current students."
Louise Goodall, Senior Practice Development Nurse, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust
Highly relevant to teaching and learning
"East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust started subscribing to clinicalskills.net in December 2011.
clinicalskills.net is simple to search and navigate, regularly updated by subject matter experts, clearly referenced to the evidence base and is responsive to user comments and suggestions for inclusion. It is highly pictorial and as well as a reliable clinical skill and procedure reference, it is highly relevant to teaching and learning situations.
We have been very happy with the personal service from clinicalskills.net."
Shotham Kamath, Assistant Director of Nursing (Education & Workforce), East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
Caters for all levels of nurses and saves me time
"clinicalskills.net is a very useful resource. I like the way that it's pictorial, which is very good for people with specific learning needs. I mainly use it to support teaching I have done and I give printed handouts from it to healthcare assistants following teaching on observations and ECGs. I have been to clinicalskills.net for troubleshooting, using it to clarify certain aspects such as when I have not been sure what order to put things in. It saves me time because it is quick and easy, and very user friendly.
"clinicalskills.net is very good in terms of links to other resources, so that people can read around the subject. It caters for all levels of nurses—a higher level nurse could read in depth around the subject whereas a healthcare assistant could just read the hand out."
Kate Rogers, Practice Development Nurse, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
clinicalskills.net is invaluable
"Our Trust uses clinicalskills.net for training on the wards and for other in-house training sessions; we use it for both pre- and post-registration training, and with health care assistants. Because it is sometimes difficult to release staff, clinicalskills.net is invaluable because it helps staff to manage to do some training and education in terms of the time that they have got available and clinicalskills.net is so quick and easy to use on the intranet. It is great that the procedures are updated and the company is very receptive to any comments we have, and keen to provide features that we need."
Sandy Saulick, Lead Nurse (Clinical Development), Ealing NHS Trust
An up-to-date resource
"We have been using clinicalskills.net for approximately one year now. Students and academics across the Faculty (nursing, allied health professions and assistant practitioners) access the procedures via Blackboard. The procedures are very clearly described, well illustrated and evidence-based, and both staff and students have given positive feedback. The procedures provide an up-to-date source of information for learning and teaching a wide range of skills in our Faculty, and our partner NHS Trusts are happy that we have purchased this package. We are particularly pleased that the procedures are updated when new guidance (e.g. NPSA, NICE) is released so they remain up to date. The company are continually reviewing and adding to the procedures and keep us updated about these developments. Overall, we are very satisfied with clinicalskills.net as a resource for Faculty students and staff and it assists us in providing students with clear, evidence-based materials to underpin their practice learning."
Dr Lesley Baillie, Principal Lecturer (Clinical Skills Development), Faculty of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University; November 2007
Excellent resource for students
"This is an excellent resource for student nurses, so many thanks."
Student, UK university
"Students were open-mouthed when they saw the amount of support clinicalskills.net gave them."
Principal Lecturer, UK school of nursing
Valuable learning tool
"The feedback I have had has ALL been positive. The students feel that the information on the site is thorough, informed, research based and clear, yet is concise and well articulated. Many students have commented on the use of graphics and how these help enhance their learning along with the easy to follow, yet informed, text. The key reading is also valuable in aiding their learning. I am excited about the changes that you are proposing and look forward to continued use of this valuable learning tool."
Martin Bailey, Director of Clinical Skills, Canterbury Christ Church University
Lots of positive feedback
"I would like to say that I am continuing to get lots of positive feedback on clinicalskills.net from staff (nurses and health care assistants) and students alike, so thank you for offering this useful learning resource to us."
Louise Goodall, Lecturer Practitioner for Clinical Skills, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust / University of Brighton
A vital tool for student nurses
"clinicalskills.net is a vital tool for student nurses throughout their nurse training and for qualified staff wishing to refresh their knowledge and revisit the evidence base. The programme is easy to navigate and presents nursing skills in a clear, informative and interesting way. The further reading and references provided allow users to investigate subject areas in great depth."
Zoe Scullard, Principal Lecturer Practice Learning, Buckinghamshire New University