National Back Exchange Statement – Response to Questions about Training and Covid-19

 A number of our members have shared their own strategies on how to manage the current situation, both on our forum, and during a recent live online debate. It was recognized that the Health and Safety at Work Act is still relevant, and employers have a duty to protect staff, as far as is reasonably practicable. No solution will meet the needs of every organisation, and local risk assessments must be carried out to establish a strategy that is most appropriate.

 These are some of the suggestions made by our members:

Reduce Training - only train staff who need to be trained

  • Postpone refresher training for staff already up to date
  • Extend refresher periods to reduce numbers of those 'out of date' with training
  • For staff moving from another area/hospital/role, look carefully at their previous training to see if its relevant and therefore, not necessary to repeat.
  • Ask staff to assess their own training requirements to better focus on their knowledge and skills gaps
  • Do the theory aspects online (e.g. through Teams/zoom meetings etc) or through e-learning or workbooks and therefore reducing contact time in training
  • Theory sessions to be a 'one off' training to reduce the length of time of overall training requirement. Practical to be repeated periodically and assessed locally.
  • Use video for demonstrations of techniques and equipment (see the NBE Video Resource Library)
  • Consider assessing staff competency, rather than delivering training. This could be done face-to-face or using phone/video technology
  • Reduce the time in training by only covering the essential practical techniques used by that member of staff
  • Carry out practical training on-site with groups from the same area, to achieve the above.
  • Ask newer staff to pair up with more experienced workers with a competency list to complete over a period of time
  • Make use of competent supervisors, key trainers to assist with on-the-job training

During Training

If training needs to go ahead, you may want to consider some of the following:

  • The trainer and trainees to wear appropriate PPE
  • Ensure trainees are asymptomatic, apyrexial, have not been in contact with anyone with Covid symptoms within the past 14 days (or whatever timescale is currently considered appropriate by the government or your organisation)
  • Hand washing/ hand sanitising facilities available in or close to the training room
  • Delegates and trainers to have changing facilities available if needed.
  • Wipe down equipment used (with locally agreed solutions/methods) between users, as part of their hygiene routine and equipment checks
  • Train in smaller groups or move to larger venues to accommodate larger groups
  • Use mannequins where appropriate
  • Consider training staff in work/social bubbles.
  • Consider doing demonstrations only, and ask new starters to pair up with more experienced workers when back on duty - competency checklist can be given.
  • Consider different levels of practical training based on job roles. One size will not fit all. Some staff may only need 1 hour, some may need considerably longer depending on tasks normally undertaken
  • Consider capturing all interactions as 'training'. These could be advisory phone calls, one-to-one discussions with other professionals
  • Therapists to use treatments/assessments as learning opportunities for staff, and staff to capture this for training purposes.
  • Information sheets for techniques could be downloaded and shared, and could include potential risks/considerations to think about when carrying out a risk assessment.
  • Manage appropriate social distancing within the training room as far as is reasonably practicable. This could be done by:
    • Marking out the training room to create 'workstations' that ensure 2m distance between 
    • Creating distance between the trainer and the trainees
    • Theory shouldn't need attendance at a physical base (see above). If learners are unable to access remote learning, arrange the training room to ensure appropriate distancing when delivering theory sessions.

Post training all new staff to have an experienced worker to support them and ensure safe practice and standards continue to be developed, especially if they are one to one with a patient.

This is not an exhaustive list and you may consider other strategies that would be useful. If so, please feel free to share on the NBE forum.

NBE Professional Affairs Committee

8th June 2020

This statement is also available for you to download as a PDF --->>> 

File Name: NBE-STATEMENT-Response-to-Questions-about-Training-and-Covid-1_20200610-074814_1
File Size: 127 kb
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By Kristina Warwick Smith on behalf of NBE Professional Affairs Committee

PR Officer, National Back Exchange




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