BCS launches NpfIT qualification for NHS staff

The British Computer Society has launched a new qualification for NHS staff as software on the National Programme for IT continues to be rolled out.

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The British Computer Society has launched a new qualification for NHS staff as software on the National Programme for IT continues to be rolled out.

The NHS eLearning IT Essentials (ELITE) qualification focuses on skills ranging from using a keyboard and mouse and sending emails, to good file management. It will be available to clinical and non-clinical staff.

It also complements an existing programme called NHS Health (eLearning for Health Information Systems) that provides staff with the training they need to comply with rules on information governance, data protection and patient confidentiality when using health information systems implemented locally through the NPfIT.

The qualification was created by a partnership between the BCS and the NHS Connecting for Health Education, Training and Development Programme.

In a pilot ELITE test, trialled by 100 NHS staff across five trusts, candidates took an average of ten hours to complete the learning and nine in 10 passed the final test.

Both the NHS ELITE and NHS Health qualifications are part of the joint BCS NHS Essential IT Skills programme. They aim to ensure front line NHS staff have access to training which will develop their basic IT skills, whilst making sure they understand their responsibilities in regards to accessing and handling patient information on the new systems and services.

Peter Bayley, director of qualification products at the BCS, said: "Changes in the way patient information is stored and shared means that qualification providers need to be anticipating and mirroring those changes."

The NHS recently said the first phase of its Lorenzo central care records system is due to be rolled out this June, three years after its original launch date.

But it delayed the latest update to its Choose and Book system, after a software fault with the existing version gave “a couple of hundred” patients incorrect appointments.

It has also co-founded an open source healthcare software programme, called Open Health Tools, headed up by Skip McGaughey, a co-founder of development consortium the Eclipse Foundation.

It is seeking a new CIO and a director of IT programme and system delivery as a result of Richard Granger’s departure in January.

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