Microsoft Teams training helps NHS staff work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic

Overview

Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (WUTH) is one of the busiest NHS trusts in the North West. With three hospitals, labs and administrative buildings, and several community centres, it has a 5,600-strong workforce and is the largest employer on the Wirral. The Trust plays a huge role in education and has achieved several awards for its scientific research and patient care.

Challenge

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a nationwide lockdown and millions of people had to work from home. NHS trusts were inevitably busy during this unprecedented time, which saw thousands of patients admitted to intensive care. Staff at WUTH needed the right tools and skills to work from home and maintain business as usual, as far as possible, during the crisis.

During the lockdown, Microsoft announced they would help the NHS by providing Teams to them for free. Teams is a tool that helps staff meet and collaborate regardless of location. 

Its features include:

  • Video, audio and web conference meetings which can host thousands of people
  • Real-time editing and sharing of Word, PowerPoint and Excel files
  • Clear and reliable call quality. Teams can easily be combined with Phone System, Calling Plan1 or Direct Routing
  • Scheduling and shift management capabilities
  • Microsoft and third-party apps can be connected, and customised apps can be built

The NHS rolled out Teams at all trusts including WUTH. This new form of communication and collaboration meant they had to rapidly upskill their staff to prevent service disruption.

“I really enjoyed the training. Our trainer was great and gave me some good tips to help me use Teams efficiently. As a clinician, I've been using Teams for multi-disciplinary meetings over the past four weeks and have been getting better at it. Most of my colleagues have taken to it too.”

Shabbir Poonawala, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

The Bytes Solution

WUTH contacted Bytes Learning Services for help. We recommended four remote training sessions for beginners and advanced users. Conducting the sessions remotely ensured no one had to travel unnecessarily and meant large numbers of staff could attend.

The Learning Services team tailored the training to suit the needs of an NHS trust, with specific apps and NHS Mail taken into consideration. An accredited trainer from Bytes conducted the sessions, which lasted 90 minutes each and were attended by over 700 staff.

The first three seminars were created for team members and covered the basics, channels, chats, meetings and working with files. The fourth seminar was made for advanced users. It covered channels in more depth, team permissions, SharePoint and tabs.

Benefits

Thanks to Microsoft Teams and Bytes’ training sessions, WUTH was able to keep staff communication running smoothly during the pandemic. Teams helped clinicians hold essential meetings and share important data with each other.

Without Teams and Bytes’ training expertise, the Trust could have found communication difficult and missed out on all the features of this unique tool. Bytes are proud to have trained WUTH during such a critical time for our national health service. The Trust has since requested an extra 10 days of training sessions after the huge success of phase one.

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