There are many training providers with programmes and resources to support the development of IT and digital knowledge and skills. Some providers offer primary care related online resources and e-learning opportunities to improve and develop existing digital skills.
Online training and learning through networking opportunities are also summarised and signposted below.
This guidance sets out what is available at the time of writing (March 2023). It is, however, a fast-moving area and offers and opportunities will change on an almost daily basis.
Do also note that your employer or local NHS training centres may provide opportunities for learning and developing skills.
All practices should ensure that all staff have or are supported to develop the entry level skills needed to work in a digital environment. These include relevant operating systems, administrative and office software system users as well as clinical systems.
Practice must carry out a training needs analysis and produce an integrated care board (ICB) approved training plan. They must also keep and maintain a record of staff training and make staff available for required training.
NHS IT Skills Pathway
Although smartphones and tablets are now in common use and the internet is part of our everyday lives, there are still many people who:
- have basic skills only
- use applications in a limited way
- don’t know what they don’t know
- IT Skills Pathway
- essential IT skills
- basic digital literacy
- introduction through to advanced level use of Microsoft Office applications
- Clinical and pharmaceutical terminology and classifications (such as SNOMED coding)
Training is supported by a learning management system that allows users and managers to track progress. Training can also be tailored to individuals’ needs through pre-course skills assessments.
Health Education England offers a number of programmes aimed at driving up digital readiness across health and social care:
- Supporting our digital experts
- Building our future digital workforce
- Digital health leadership
- The NHS Digital Academy
- Digital literacy of the wider workforce
e-learning for Healthcare (e-LfH)
e-Learning for Healthcare is delivered by Health Education England. It has an extensive and searchable catalogue of online courses and toolkits covering clinical and non-clinical topics.
Access is open to anyone who works in the NHS. Registration is required for access to programmes. Some programmes are also available through the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) so tracking and completion information is entered automatically into a user’s ESR record.
It has a wide range of courses specific to general practice including e-learning modules based on the GP training curriculum, developed in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).
Examples of programmes available from e-LfH include:
- summary care record, for users of the service
- the accessible information standard, for use in websites or other forms of online communication
- National Registration Authority and smartcard policy
- NHS e-referral service
- E-Learning Module for Administrative Triage
Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) education and training
In 2020, the RCGP launched a COVID-19 resource hub with a range of resources for GPs and practice staff. It contained, for example, guidance on remote consultations and triaging and shielding vulnerable patients.
The College’s health informatics special interest group provides webinars and toolkits from time to time.
Faculty of Clinical Informatics
The Faculty of Clinical Informatics (hosted by the RCGP) offers a regular programme of webinars and events for members.
Online recordings of webinars are open access, at least whilst the Faculty is driving up membership and are found on the Faculty YouTube channel.
Some webinars are delivered in partnership with the British Computer Society (BCS) Primary Healthcare Specialist Group (PHCSG).
eGPlearning is a YouTube video channel aimed at providing information and advice to GPs on a wide range of digital and practice related topics. It also provides short information videos aimed at patients.
The lead GP creates short video presentations and blog-casts on topics such as:
- Top 5 tips for video consultations
- Getting the best from Microsoft Teams
- Guide to using SystmOne
Other online learning
Here are some examples of other sources and examples of online education and training to support digital primary care:
- NHS England provides webinars and workshops
- FutureNHS provides discussion forums, libraries, recordings of webinars and events, toolkits, and guidance for NHS staff (who have to register to use the portal). There are forums or discussion groups that include for example:
- primary care networks and workforce (including the latest information on additional role reimbursement Scheme (ARRS)
- digital primary care
- digital leadership
- population health management
- primary care workforce
- GP clinical system suppliers, like EMIS, who produced getting started with Video Consult (site registration needed)
- The Practice Managers’ Association, which has produced a training module on using the NHS App
- BCS PHCSG offers online recordings of presentations from their annual conference and works in partnership with the Faculty of Clinical Informatics to deliver webinars
Digital Health is a health and care digital news, intelligence, and networking site, offering regular newsletters and events. It has a website as well as a presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. It supports networks of Chief Information Officers and Chief Clinical Information Officers (across health and care).
Health Tech Newspaper
- artificial intelligence
- data and analytics
Related GPG content
- Health informatics academic courses and professional qualifications
- Digital skills – competency standards frameworks, and tools for healthcare professionals – to follow
- Professional bodies and associations
- Clinical coding – SNOMED CT
- Summary care records (SCR)
- Smartcards and access control (RBAC)
- Online consultation tools
- Video consultation tools – to follow
- Population health management
- Primary Care Networks (PCNs)
- NHS App
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning – to follow
- Microsoft Teams and remote working – to follow