Supporting the Irish Health Sector During Covid-19

16 Jun, 2020

When the Irish health sector was suddenly required to work-from-home due to government policy, TU Dublin and e-Learning solutions company Enovation knew they had to work fast to offer an innovative solution to assist staff in the sector adjust to this new way of working.

In a few weeks, they rapidly devised and delivered an e-Learning package worth €1m for health sector staff on remote working.

One Health Service Executive employee explained that remote working "was a challenge I wasn't prepared for. This timely qualification, with a wealth of relevant information, delivered learning at my fingertips and I now feel much better equipped with the skills needed". On completion of the course, HSE students will receive a university qualification, a Level 6 CPD Special Purpose Award in Remote Working from TU Dublin. So far, 2,200 workers from across over 150 HSE departments have registered on the site. It has also been made available for other state bodies and charities to use, with employees from Jigsaw, Make a Wish Foundation, Brothers of Charity and Tusla signing up. Of those that undertook the course, 66% had never worked remotely before.

"Our health sector staff is vast and diverse, it includes the doctors and nurses in our hospitals, our allied healthcare professionals, their administrative teams, thousands of specialist health sector workers to name only a few areas," says Maria O'Loughlin, HSE Assistant National Director of Organisational Digital Change within Health Business Services, "When the decision was made to have as many employees work remotely as possible, we were faced with a huge organisational challenge from a technology and culture perspective. We collaborated with TU Dublin and Enovation to rapidly develop a tailored, online training solution to help support staff in the transition to remote working. The outcome has been phenomenal in terms of scale and impact, and the feedback in terms of the benefits and learning for our staff is fantastic".

Combining a state-of-the-art technical infrastructure and involving international experts and partners to deliver content, the solution was deployed in May. The course was available to any health sector worker, north or south, public or private in any role related to the health service and TU Dublin provided a fee-waiver worth €500 to each learner. In conjunction, Enovation implemented a secure, scalable infrastructure and managed learning platform on Moodle.

"The partnership with Enovation was a match made in heaven, enabling us to combine our subject matter expertise with their large scale learning and talent capabilities at a pace to get a solution ready to market", said Rowena Hennigan, one of the Lecturers from TU Dublin behind this innovative solution with Maébh Coleman and Marian Jennings. 

The team now aim to deploy other public-service training on remote working at scale to complement government plans for remote work into the future. They are keen to connect and speak to other government agencies to look at the opportunities to expand this successful blueprint model to further afield.