Discover how the Digital Solutions Fund (DSF) supported the MedTRiM programme in adapting to online delivery in the face of COVID-19.
Staff wellbeing is recognised as one of the highest priorities by the NHS Wales Innovation Group Leads. The fast-paced, emotionally charged and high-pressure environments that those working across health and social care can find themselves in can have enduring consequences. This not only impacts the welfare of staff but also the long-term quality of clinical services.
In 2011, DNA Definitive, my organisation, collaborated with Dr Mark Stacey of the Wales Deanery New Initiatives (and Consultant Anaesthetist at CVUHB) to adapt a programme called trauma risk management (TRiM) that was developed within the military in the support of their personnel. With the support of TRiM experts from the military, we developed medical trauma and resilience management (MedTRiM) to help address the pressure faced by clinical staff.
One decade later, MedTRiM is now a well-established, proactive resource for supporting those exposed to potentially traumatic experiences in the workplace. Health Education Improvement Wales (HEIW), DNA Definitive and NHS colleagues run the programme, which aims to provide clear management strategies and meaningful peer group interaction and support. A valuable aspect of the training is that it can create an atmosphere where we can get people talking, supporting each other and keeping an eye on how their peers are doing.
Delivering a digital solution
The COVID-19 pandemic saw the programme of delivery interrupted in March 2020 due to social distancing restrictions. However, this came at a time where the need for staff support and training in the face of resilience was greater than ever. Rising COVID-19 case numbers and unprecedented strain on our health and social services meant that the demand for MedTRiM training did not cease when face-to-face teaching opportunities did.
The DSF provided an opportunity to adapt the training to a digital delivery format and helped us to continue offering support to staff through MedTRiM courses. This initiative was coordinated by Digital Health Ecosystem Wales (DHEW) and funded by the Welsh Government. Through this programme, five digital health initiatives were offered funding as part of a £150,000 call to action for innovative ways to use digital technology in response to COVID-19.
Cardiff and Value University Health Board and the NHS Wales Innovation Group Leads joined forces with HEIW and DNA Definitive to help realise this. MiMentor also acted as a key partner in this collaboration, who are an organisation that offer a world-class online learning platform.
All teaching and learning resources were rapidly adapted for digital self-directed learning. Additional material such as teaching videos were also produced to help support the online format. The MiMentor platform also allowed us to make the digital course interactive, with ongoing knowledge checks and learning scenarios throughout.
We also sought new contributors who reflected the MedTRiM values of keeping trauma awareness support at a grassroots level. This included mental health professionals, experienced trauma management practitioners and those who had implemented MedTRiM within their organisation.
This DSF project also provides an important legacy for training and engaging health and social care staff through a digital medium. Repurposing MedTRiM in the face of COVID-19 demonstrated how an online course could remotely support staff without travelling, as well as contributing to wider environmental targets. Its impact will also be felt long beyond the pandemic, with the digital course remaining open for the foreseeable future.
Who would benefit from MedTRiM training?
Applications for MedTRiM are ongoing. It is available free of charge to all professionals, at all seniorities, working in NHS Wales. Staff who have already benefitted from digital access to a toolkit that helps to strengthen their personal, social and environmental resilience include:
- Students on medicine and allied subject courses
- Ancillary healthcare professionals
Why should healthcare professionals enrol onto MedTRiM?
The DSF allowed us to continue running MedTRiM in the face of COVID-19, which has subjected many working across health and social care to potentially traumatic experience. So far, we have provided digital MedTRiM training to some 200 colleagues.
Our training has equipped those enrolled with access to a credible framework and peer support to help empower clinical staff in managing trauma response. The digital aspect of the course has also made it more accessible, enabling those enrolled to work through it at a time and location that works best for their busy schedules.
Access to the online MedTRiM course is ongoing and free to healthcare professionals working across Wales. You can sign up for this training by contacting HEIW through HEIW.NewInitiatives@wales.nhs.uk.