Somerset Care is one of the major care organisations in Southern England, providing care homes as well as support services in the community.
In 2019, the team decided to take the vast majority of its staff training online to upskill employees and provide ways to track and monitor compliance rates.
Somerset Care has 27 care homes and 3,000 employees. The company wanted to introduce an online learning management system to help increase the numbers of staff completing mandatory training, engage staff more effectively with their learning, and reduce extensive training costs.
Jess Henry, Head of OD and Learning and Development at Somerset Care, explains:
“Our employees are spread over a large area and we had a traditional training company providing face-to-face training, which just wasn’t sustainable. Trainers would go to a particular care home and because only a certain number of staff could be released from their work, we were spending money on sessions where only a couple of people could benefit. We felt there were real opportunities if we could take most of our learning online.”
The company researched different providers and decided to use Altura learning. They needed a learning management system that was intuitive, as well as accessible via smartphones. Jess says:
“We have a wide spectrum of people working for us, some have very little computer skills, so it was important that it was easy to use and engaging.”
Implementing the platform
Somerset Care set up an implementation committee, made up of staff from IT, operations, HR and learning and development and branded the system ‘The Hub’, giving it a logo and getting staff familiar with the concept.
“It was about changing the culture to embed learning and development at the heart of what we do. We did some roadshows where we launched the platform to staff. It’s been a great success and our compliance figures are climbing rapidly.”
Managers have said that the platform is useful for them from a reporting perspective and being able to oversee their team’s learning.
Whilst there are practical elements of training that must still be done face-to-face, such as manual handling and life support, now 85% of training is online. This has helped to save money plus improve reporting and compliance.
As the platform has proved so successful and demand has grown, the team has increased the amount of learning available.
“We’ve now added about 60 training modules like stoma care, epilepsy, and looking after someone who has had a stroke. It’s given us so much more choice and flexibility and staff have been able to expand their knowledge.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the team have been recording weekly videos with the CEO and Director of Operations and putting them on the platform for staff to view. Jess explains:
“We’ve always struggled with staff communications and we were finding that newsletters and cascading information didn’t work. It’s a great way for staff to hear what’s going on and has masses of potential.”
The team is now making more of their own video based courses, such as moving and handling techniques and demonstrations.
Altura Learning are a Skills for Care Centre of Excellence, National Care Forum and Care England partner, with a learning community of over 700 care organisations of all sizes and 150,000 learners, all sharing best practice.
Over 150 authentic real life video based courses, created with 50+ industry experts, are designed to engage, inform and inspire care teams to deliver outstanding care.
To find out more visit www.alturalearning.co.uk