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Sunday 23rd October 2016

New locum induction tool to improve NHS patient safety

24th November 2010

LSN’s new web-based Academy to increase patient safety & cut staff time.

LSN, the experts in learning and skills provision, is launching its Online Induction Academy today, which will allow the NHS to organise the induction and screening of all new clinical staff through a central system.

With fears growing about fatal incidents of unqualified locums treating patients, LSN’s Induction Academy was developed to allow HR staff to check the competency of new locum doctors and temporary staff before they begin walking the wards.

Developed in consultation with Mr Neil MacLachlan of the Jersey Health and Social Services department, LSN’s new service brings employee screening and induction online, allowing NHS organisations to drastically increase the efficiency of the critical, yet cost and time intensive, process of inducting and competency testing permanent and temporary staff.

From assessing the clinical competence and appropriate language skills of locum staff, to ensuring agency-employed nurses meet any specialist job criteria, the Induction Academy is based on a popular online induction system LSN currently supplies to local authorities across the UK.

The system allows for tailored induction programmes based on the employee’s role, grade, and department. Locums must complete English language assessments, seek references, and provide evidence of their competencies before progressing in the system.

Once the hospital’s HR team has reviewed a locum’s qualifications and competencies, individuals can download essential induction materials to read and understand before beginning work in the hospital.  Working with NHS security systems, the Induction Academy ensures that only those staff that have completed and passed their bespoke induction criteria can step onto patient wards.

Developed to pilot at the Jersey General Hospital later this month, LSN’s Induction Academy is now available to NHS trusts across the country.

“The provision of safe healthcare is a priority for all those involved in its delivery, but external pressures such as the EWTD and staff recruitment problems have meant an increasing reliance on locum doctors up and down the country, with the more isolated units particularly feeling the pressure,” says Mr. Neil MacLachlan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist of the Jersey Health and Social Services department.

“The LSN Jersey Induction Academy allows locums to match their competencies with the advertised post, and makes their referees more accountable, as they must see and sign the submitted competency assessment beside the job description prior to commencement of duties.”

Mr. MacLachlan and LSN believe that the system will be popular with locums as well as with hospital administrators.  Locums and other healthcare professionals are able to log-in and complete their induction in their own time, allowing them to hit the ground running when they arrive for their first shift.

In addition, the system makes it easy for temporary staff to openly declare their limitations, reducing the risk that they could be asked to work outside their ‘comfort zone’ or particular areas of expertise.

John Baxter, the head of public sector training at LSN, said: “The practicalities of locum appointments often require quick decisions, in circumstances when not all of the necessary information about the incoming doctor is immediately available.

“In the past, there have been tragic cases of trusts making uninformed decisions about these doctors’ professional competence, which have resulted in needless patient death. To avoid these mistakes being repeated, and to ensure patient safety is at the heart of all staff training and development, the NHS needs a new approach.

The Induction Academy will directly measure locums’ competence and language skills through a fast and effective process of online testing, assessments, analysis and professional referencing.”

Mr. Neil MacLachlan, concluded:  “LSN’s system has streamlined the induction process.  It has freed up HR staff from hours of paperwork, and has allowed new staff to complete their inductions before they arrive, at a time and location most convenient to them.”

NHS staff interested in learning more about locum competency screening are encouraged to attend LSN’s Online Induction Academy reception:
Date: Wednesday 8 December
Time: 5pm - 6.30pm
Venue: Royal College of Surgeons, London

If you are NHS staff and interested in attending, please register online or by contacting our events team:
Tel +44(0)207 492 5000
Email registrations@lsnlearning.org.uk

If you are a member of the media interested in attending, please contact Maita Soukup or Rakhee Shah at Munro & Forster.  0207 825 3946/60 maita.soukup@munroforster.com; rakhee.shah@munroforster.com.

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