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Learning and Development

The Learning and Development Department is based at Rivermead Training Centre, Northern General Hospital and operates two Computer Learning Centres, one based at North House, Northern General Hospital and one at Royal Hallamshire Hospital’s D floor.

The department is committed to providing all staff and learners at the Trust with access to quality education and training which supports their needs to provide quality patient care. We provide a diverse portfolio of teaching and learning activities using traditional and digital technologies within the department and across the Trust. The department’s work is aligned to the Trust strategies and engages in partnerships with local, regional and national bodies such as Health Education England and we host a number of regional and national projects. This ensures that the Trust is responsive to investing in the training needs of the current and future workforce.

We have received a number of awards and have been accredited with the Skills for Health Quality Mark, the UK health sector’s standard for high quality education and training. We also:

Provide professional and vocational education/training courses and materials, including apprenticeships from level 2 to 7, short courses and other programmes to train new and existing talent.

  • Lead and support Trust working groups, professional practice and clinical skill development initiatives.
  • Provide advice and support to individual staff, students, newly qualified nurses, clinical care group educators and training administrators.
  • Manage STH’s learning needs analysis process and ensure fair allocation of education funding to meet STH priorities.
  • Work in partnership with regional healthcare providers, schools, colleges and higher education institutions to meet staff development, work experience and student placement requirements.
  • Provide the Trust’s Personal Achievement Learning Management System, PALMS, which records all training and gives access to a huge range of online mandatory and job specific essential training, and face to face courses.

The Department comprises the following areas:

  • Business Support Unit. Accesses funding, works closely with directorates to undertake the Trust learning needs analysis, and works with regional partners to procure apprenticeships and courses from further and higher education providers. We manage the learner database and all non-learning management system recording and reporting for internal and external audit purposes. We also provide administrative support and manage the department’s facilities.
  • Learner and Educator Support Team. Supports the education and development of clinicians in nursing, midwifery and the Allied Health Professions. We support learners and their educators on the whole journey i.e. preparation for entry onto training programmes, practice placements and Preceptorship for newly qualified staff joining STH. We support the Trust’s International Recruitment programme and work closely with external partners including Health Education England and local further and higher education institutions to ensure placements are of high quality and to deliver placement expansion.
  • Practice Development Team. Supports individual and team development in all specialties and at all levels across STH. We run training programmes to inform practice including Clinical Skills; Display Screen Equipment Assessor Training; Evidence Based Practice; Moving and Handling; Shared Haemodialysis Care; Education in Cancer Care and Long Term Conditions. We also provide an Ergonomic Advisory function, providing advice for staff and managers regarding workplace redesign and work with the estates commissioning teams to provide advice for all new build and refurbishment work at the outset.
  • Technology Enhanced Learning Team. Underpins healthcare via enhanced education through current and emergent innovative technologies and techniques. This includes developing on-line learning, mobile apps and digital skills training as well as investigating the use of simulation in healthcare. We operate and develop e-learning within STH as well as managing PALMS and the on-line Digital Skills training.
  • The Vocational Team provides specialist advice and training across the organisation in a number of areas, including Corporate Induction, Mandatory Training and Level 2 Apprenticeships. The team also provides a variety of workforce development programmes, supporting both potential new staff and existing staff to access employment opportunities within the Trust.


Meet the team
Alison Hales Joint Acting Head of Learning and Development Department
Karen Percival Joint Acting Head of Learning and Development Department
Amanda Lee-Kearsley Business and Learning Support Unit Coordinator
Helen Lowes Learner and Educator Support Team Manager
Nicky Sharpe Practice Development Team Manager
Rob Bloor Technology Enhanced Learning and PALMS Team Manager
Brian Burke Vocational Team Manager




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