Survey confirms the value of IT training

From: Bob Little Press & PR
Published: Wed Mar 22 2006

A recent evaluation of the NHS Basic IT Skills (ECDL) Programme, carried out by NHS Connecting for Health, has shown that staff who master basic IT skills are not only channelling millions of pounds back into the NHS but are also spending more time with patients.

Those who have been trained in IT skills are able to spend between 24 and 38 minutes every day doing their jobs – such as looking after patients – rather than taking this extra time to operate computers. Their colleagues become more productive too – since they are not interrupted and asked to help carry out others’ IT tasks.

Nurses who completed this programme are able to spend an extra 113 hours a year looking after patients and organisations which encouraged nurses to participate in the programme are getting an average of 197 per cent return on their investment over a one-year period, based on time saved and the lower cost of centrally-procured training materials.

David Field, a director at Training Synergy, one of the UK’s largest training solutions providers, commented: "As in all walks of life, the healthcare sector is realising that the application of modern technology can increase productivity – by allowing staff to deal efficiently and effectively with more patients – and provide real value for money.

"A number of recent initiatives – including the ‘Connecting for Health’ programme – is producing a huge increase in demand for IT skills among NHS staff at all levels," added Field, whose company has considerable experience in training users in the application and use of new technology within the NHS.

"In five years time, e-tools - such as online reference - will form an integral part of every healthcare professional’s job," he continued. "Systems such as the NHS Care Record offer huge benefits but these can only be realised if front-line staff are enthusiastic and capable of using the new systems.

"This means that these people need access now to the right tools and to appropriate training and support – particularly to help them appreciate the wider, strategic issues which require them to increase their degree of IT literacy," Field said. "That is why it is important that IT skills training is delivered by high quality, professional human beings, who can provide that perspective – rather than merely making IT information available remotely."

Daniel Hanlon, managing director of Training Synergy, added: "Now that organisations are looking for more flexible, cost-effective ways of delivering projects, including training, we are becoming providers of a ‘virtual training force’ – a pool of highly competent trainers who provide training wherever and whenever it is needed. This gives the client confidence in dealing with a large, national, successful training provider such as Training Synergy, while also enjoying extreme flexibility and scaleability in the provision of those resources – which is also reflected in improved cost-effectiveness in the training service."


Notes for Editors:

About the survey

The evaluation of the NHS Basic IT Skills (ECDL) Programme was carried out by NHS Connecting for Health.

All those surveyed - including administration staff, managers, clinicians, allied health professionals and nurses - said they were able to spend more time doing their jobs because of their new skills. Learners who had previously described themselves as basic IT users were saving an average of 24 minutes a day and very basic users were clawing back an average of 38 minutes throughout their working day.

Cost reductions from the bulk procurement of learning materials contributed to the monetary savings being made, in addition to the time saved by both individual learners and their colleagues – people who would previously have had to help these users carry out even the most basic IT tasks.

Compared with other staff groups, nurses saved almost twice as much time as the next highest category (allied health professionals) – equating to an average of 113 hours over a year.

And while every category of learner became more positive about the systems they were using, nurses again showed the biggest gains - with those feeling positive about new IT systems growing from 30% to 74% as a result of the training.

Additionally, organisations which encouraged nurses to participate in the programme are getting an average of 197% return on their investment over a one-year period, based on time saved and the lower cost of centrally-procured training materials.

Further details on the Basic IT Skills (ECDL) Programme are available at

About Training Synergy

With over 300 training personnel working on projects across the UK at any one time and a turnover in excess of £10m, Training Synergy is one of the UK’s largest training solutions providers.

Training Synergy provides a range of training services to support all types and size of training programme, from initial consulting right through to project-managed implementation. It also provides logistics and logistical services to support clients’ ongoing training needs.

Training Synergy is part of the Synergy Group (formed in 1997 and now with an annual turnover of some £40m). Training Synergy has grown from £3m turnover in 2004 to £8m turnover in 2005. It delivers some 40,000 training days a year and has 7,000 trainers on its database.

Its clients include the Ministry of Defence, the National Health Service, IBM, EDS, Getronics, Unisys, Accenture and Atos.

Further Information from:
Daniel Hanlon / David Field, Synergy, 0800 072 5900 or 020 7556 1140 /1141
Bob Little, Bob Little Press & PR, 01727 860405

Company: Bob Little Press & PR
Contact Name: Bob Little
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 01727 860405

Visit website »