Whilst there's no substitute for face to face learning, staff taking time out of an organisation to participate in training can be expensive in both time and cost. Fortunately there are useful on-line resources that cover the core topics staff in a care setting need to know about and that staff and carers can access from a computer or touchscreen device.
Even better, most of them are free.
There is a comprehensive range of free interactive e-learning courses on the SCIE e-learning website - http://www.scie.org.uk/publications/elearning/index.asp. These cover topics such as Dementia Awareness, Safeguarding and the Mental Capacity Act and much more.
The Hiblio TV website ( http://www.hiblio.tv/) shares expert film and advice to help you take better care of yourself, those close to you and those you provide care and support to. All for free. Hiblio is working with the NHS and leading health charities to bring 1000s of trusted health awareness films to a central location. Hiblio is about making information convenient and accessible for all, to wherever you are, straight to your laptop, smartphone or tablet. It offers the very best information film for the public, patients and clinicians. All content is kept up to date and reflects current practice.
This free service from SCIE hosts the video resources they have produced to help develop the skills and knowledge of care providers. Included in the many videos on http://www.scie.org.uk/socialcaretv/index.asp are topics such as Autism Awareness, Personalisation and Supporting Carers.
Skills for Care has developed resources and guidance to support employers and workers to develop their skills. The skills section of their website ( http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Skills/Skills.aspx ) enables you to access information developed using input from experts around different areas of adult social care.
There are lots of ways you can use the internet to support your health, from making appointments and ordering repeat prescriptions online, to finding advice on specific symptoms and conditions. The Learn My Way e-learning website from the Tinder Foundation has a section on Being Healthy that includes links to NHS Choices, ways to stay healthy, accessing GP services on-line and much more.
The Care'n'Share website under development by City University approaches learning in a social care setting from a different angle to the usual delivery format of training courses. Based on real-life 'crowd-sourced' scenarios submitted to the website it automatically retrieves good care practices in response to a current care situation that you are encountering. Learning from other carers who have already encountered your situation is therefore encouraged. The website then guides you to reflect and create new ideas about the care that you need to deliver. Good care practices are offered in residential, live-in, domiciliary, acute, day service and family care.
As the website is new not all scenarios will be represented, however you can contribute to the growing database of Care'N'Share solutions and add your own good care practice cases by clicking the "Input new case" button on the website. Cases are moderated and real names / locations removed by our team before they are published and seen by the public. Find out more about the project & the team behind it here.
Whether you’re looking to learn more about carers and their needs, or explore how technologies can be used to deliver services more effectively, Discover Skills For Carers can help tailor an approach to suit your individual requirements. Registration is free and gives you access to a growing resource bank of skills and digital inclusion related e-learning materials, case studies and on-line carers support community. Discover is helping informal carers to use computers and the internet to embed digital technology in their day-to-day lives.
Learn from Learning website brings together over 1000 of the best UK face-to-face, app-based and on-line learning resources from Skills For Care and the other social care sector skills councils for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. To find learning and teaching on specific areas of social care, health and social work or other training needs that your organisation has (e.g. Fire Safety), enter your subject in the box on the left side of the screen or you can browse the full catalog here.
The Relatives and Residents Association have produced a mobile app based version of their popular 'Keys to Care' training and quick reference resource for carers. The 12 'Keys' are each covered in the app together with links to more in depth learning materials, reseach reports, case studies and regulatory guidelines. The Keys give confidence to carers in the importance of their role in the lives of the people they care for by providing practical, authoritative and jargon-free information about The Care Plan, Care at Night, Continence Care, Daily Life, Dementia, Eating & Drinking, Emergencies, End of Life Care, Family & Friends, Listening & Talking, Mouth & Teeth Care and Privacy & Choice.
My Learning Cloud was born from the desire to transform the skills of people and businesses providing care, support and health services with really high quality, innovative and engaging multi-device learning. Every learning journey is personal and unique and this learning platform reflects this, that is why all of the e-learning can be used on any device and at any time to accomodate the busy lives of people working in these sectors.
All the e-learning has been developed with subject matter experts who have real-life experience and understanding of the care, support and health sectors and all courses are CPD Certified and have been mapped to units from the Qualification Credit Framework Diploma’s in Health and Social Care.
Courses can either be purchased and hosted on a learning platform enabling management of staff and courses or can be purchased individually. Topics include Dementia Awareness, Health & Safety, Infection Control, The Care Certificate and more. The full catalogue is available to browse here.
This is the first on-line tool of its type for healthcare employees and aims to encourage like minded people who are passionate about workforce transformation, learning and skills in the sector to network, to share best practice, expertise and resources. My Health Skills offers members an on-line platform to voice opinion, access relevant information, build capability and seek advice from fellow colleagues within the healthcare sector.
This website (
http://www.social-care.tv/home/homepage) hosts a large number of fully interactive accredited social care e-learning resources. There is a charge to access each of the courses on Social Care TV.
If you know of any social care related on-line training resources we've missed please tell us in the comments below.
Connecting Care issues a monthly e-bulletin rounding up the latest technology and social care stories for providers of adult and social care. It's free for anyone interested in technology and adult social care.