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Why the NHS and healthcare organisations need powerful LMS solutions

5 min reading time

There are many hurdles that healthcare organisations must face when it comes to delivering an efficient and impactful L&D initiative. Having the right L&D strategy in place can solve a number of challenges for healthcare organisations such as strict regulatory compliance or core skills training to tackle regular job rotation. However, without the right systems in place, an L&D strategy can only go so far. In addition to existing systems such as the ESR, many NHS and healthcare organisations have sought out robust, powerful, and modern e-learning platforms to streamline L&D and ensure that daily operations run more efficiently. Keep reading to find out why only a powerful LMS can provide the effective tools required for healthcare organisations.


Staff training

Most NHS organisations are made up of large departments with a variety of diverse job roles. Larger organisations can see a huge number of new starters each quarter and for certain occupations such as nurses or doctors, job rotation is common practice – meaning employees will transition between departments to gain exposure to a broader range of skills and experiences. This presents the healthcare sector with a unique challenge when it comes to staff training. With a high number of new starters or employees rotating from another department, the time spent by managers, department heads, or team leaders training new starters can soon add up. Department heads need to make sure that new recruits have the core skills needed to perform well in their new position, along with a clear understanding of what is expected of them as a member of their department.

With an e-learning platform such as a learning management system (LMS), new members of staff can undergo a streamlined ‘onboarding’ process unique to their department. Learners may be asked to complete a training course where they will gain a basic understanding of elements such as operational processes. Using an LMS means new staff members can complete training autonomously, ensuring they get up to speed without the need for another staff member to train them.

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When it comes to ensuring new employees have the core skills required to perform their role, one of the best ways to gain a good understanding of where their skillset lies is to ask them to complete a basic skills assessment. The results of these assessments will be automatically marked/graded and distributed to the relevant figurehead in order to identify whether further basic skills training is needed. Beyond core skills, employees can complete a wide range of e-learning courses within the LMS library. Employees can easily learn new disciplines, and techniques and if needed, meaning rapid upskilling can be automatically and swiftly deployed through automation technology in the LMS – an invaluable time-saving practice for the NHS and other healthcare organisations



Healthcare organisations often have complex organisational structures and with such diverse job roles and functions, L&D requirements can drastically change from one employee to the next. To get the best out of healthcare staff, training needs to be tailored and specific to the L&D needs of each staff member.

An area in which a platform such as the NHS’ Electronic Staff Record (ESR) system can fall short is its rigid training distribution structure. As a result, L&D teams can struggle to deliver personalised, tailor-made learning as the distribution will require hours of manual admin per learner. With an LMS such as Totara Learn, the hierarchies feature does all of the personalisation for you – saving hours of time spent on admin.

Totara’s flexible hierarchy feature allows an organisation to mirror even the most complex organisational structure and capture the unique set of criteria for each employee such as job role, skill level or department. With this information, content distribution is responsive and an LMS will automatically create a role-based learning path, ensuring training is relevant to each user.


Blended Learning

A large number of healthcare staff will benefit from both theoretical and practical training. As a result, many organisations opt for a blended learning strategy as they combine traditional face-to-face teaching with online or digital learning. Blended learning may consist of staff members completing an e-learning course and following it up with a practical examination.

healthcare mobile e-learning

Some healthcare organisations will choose to deliver training via seminars or classroom teaching sessions. In this case, a healthcare LMS with the seminar function allows admins to create, manage and report on in-person classroom-based events. Organisers can notify staff of upcoming events and benefit from having a real-time view of who has or hasn’t registered for an event.


Scenario-based learning

A lot of staff training within the NHS and healthcare sector will be a case of ‘learning by doing’. Although effective, this can create challenges for organisations when mistakes are made during the learning process as patients may inadvertently be placed in a harmful situation due to inexperience.

A sophisticated, powerful e-learning platform such as a Totara LMS allows healthcare organisations to facilitate practical, risk-free training through scenario-based learning – something that a rudimentary platform such as the ESR may not be able to deliver. Scenario-based learning takes real-life situations and places them in a virtual teaching environment in which learners work their way through a problem by making decisions or answering questions. With this approach, admins can also create branching opportunities where the choices a learner makes determine the content they see next and will drive the overall outcome of their scenario. A healthcare professional may learn a new patient care technique by completing a bespoke e-learning course and then applying this to a simulation of a real-life setting through scenario-based learning, before exercising it in a physical environment.



Many healthcare organisations will be required to adhere to strict regulatory compliances which may change regularly and rapidly. To avoid dangerous and costly consequences, an organisation will need to ensure full compliance across all departments. This can be achieved with comprehensive compliance training and the right e-learning platform.

healthcare e-learning compliance training

With an LMS, administrators can automatically enrol employees in mandated training programmes. If an LMS offers powerful analytics and reporting tools, admins have full visibility of who has or hasn’t completed training. If a compliance training course asks learners to complete an end-of-course assessment, reporting tools will highlight those who have failed an assessment or achieved a low pass mark. Using LMS analytics, admins can create and manage audit trails to track compliance training (along with additional training across the L&D initiative).


Employee wellbeing support

When identifying healthcare trends for 2023, the Nurse Journal reported that nursing and healthcare leaders highlighted the critical need to pay better attention to nurses’ mental health. To help tackle the concerns around staff burnout and poor wellbeing, organisations can use e-learning platforms to distribute resources that aim to support staff and educate them on wellbeing practices. Admins can choose to automatically enrol staff on mandatory wellbeing training courses or use an LMS to serve as a readily available library of resources available to those who need it, whenever they need it. Using an LMS that can be accessed from mobile devices also means staff can access these resources at home or on the go.

With an e-learning platform such as an LXP, organisations can create wellbeing focussed discussion boards or chat forums where staff can reach out to one another and share tips, and advice or offer support and guidance. Find out more about our LXP offering Totara Engage, here.


Find out more about how our healthcare LMSs can solve your L&D challenges

At Hubken, we understand that training and learning is a critical component of healthcare management so finding the right e-learning platform to streamline processes and solve complex L&D challenges is essential. To help organisations like yours, we created the Healthcare LMS Hub where you can find free resources to learn more about e-learning for healthcare. If you’d like to see first-hand what an LMS can do for your NHS or healthcare organisation – book a demo with one of our experts.


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