Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust

ES LMS assists staff in delivering exceptional patient care

The Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust (OUH) is a world renowned centre of clinical excellence and one of the largest NHS teaching trusts in the UK, with an international reputation for the excellence of its services and its role in teaching and research.


Clinical care is delivered by experienced specialists at the pinnacle of their profession. OUH provides a wide range of clinical services, specialist services (including cardiac, cancer, musculoskeletal and neurological rehabilitation) medical education, training and research.

The Trust’s collaboration with the University of Oxford underpins the quality of the care that is provided to patients; to the delivery of high-quality research bringing innovation from the laboratory bench to the bedside; and the delivery of high quality education and training of doctors. Existing collaborations include the ambitious research programmes established through the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), located on the John Radcliffe Hospital site and at the Biomedical Research Unit in musculoskeletal disease at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre. These set the standard in translating science and research into new and better NHS clinical care.

"The provision of exceptional patient care is the ultimate goal for OUH."
Ian Mackenzie, Head of Wider Workforce Education

The Client

The Oxford University Hospitals Trust comprises four hospitals – the John Radcliffe Hospital, Churchill Hospital and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, all located in Oxford and the Horton General Hospital in the north of Oxfordshire.

In 2011/2012 there were 727,448 outpatient appointments in the Trust’s hospitals, and 22,505 inpatient admissions. They also delivered 9,041 babies. The Trust employs around 11,000 people and turnover in 2011/2012 was £788 Million.

Ian Mackenzie, Head of Wider Workforce and Education, and his team are responsible for delivering training to the Trusts 11,000 staff across the 4 hospital sites.

Core Training Areas:

  • Statutory and mandatory training
  • Leadership Development
  • Best practice in Learning and Development

The Business Requirement

Mackenzie was appointed to lead the Wider Workforce Education team when the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trusts and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre merged in November 2011 to become the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, with the remit of delivering training to 11,000 staff across the sites.

Two key opportunities were identified that would enhance how the comprehensive Statutory and Mandatory Training programme could be delivered. First the OUH needed a LMS that could provide comprehensive live web based reporting that could be accessed directly by managers 24/7. Second was the opportunity to enhance the quality of competence assessments and delivering greater efficiencies. If a member of staff could demonstrate that they were still competent this would negate the need to attend a refresher training session.

The Solution

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust (SHFT) have used ES LMS for over 5 years and were strong advocates of the system, Mackenzie worked very closely with the SHFT team to understand the systems capabilities.

Compliance Management

ES LMS supports OUH’s programme of competency based objectives with competency based assessments. The Compliance Manager and Assessment Manager modules enable managers to map competency compliance against different groups.

Comprehensive authorisation and workflows enable managers to put individuals in control of their own learning. Staff can access their own records and manage their own statutory and mandatory training. The system tells them what they’re required to do based on their job role and department, and alerts them when training needs renewing.

ES LMS enables the team to set competences for each member of staff, giving an accurate and individual view of training requirements and compliance.

"Not only does ES give us the confidence that our staff are fully compliant and equipped to deliver first class patient care, it helps us reduce the cost of insurance premiums (NHSLA), so we are delivering better quality standards at a reduced cost."

Mackenzie can proactively manage compliance levels, see who’s due to expire and ensure training is kept up to date and relevant. As he explains, “We are regulated by the Care Quality Commission and the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA), so being able to accurately and efficiently report compliance levels and provide assurance of staff competencies is invaluable. However the real benefit is a better experience for our patients and staff.”


The time and resources needed for accurate reporting was one of Mackenzie’s biggest frustrations. He needed the ability to report in real time, at organisational, divisional, team and individual level, and LMS delivers that at a click of mouse. Mackenzie needed to be able to see both high level and low level reporting.

"The richness of information provided by ES LMS stands out. I can generate a few key reports for managers while reporting at the team level; this is very powerful and allows for very strong governance."

Self Service

ES LMS enables Mackenzie to deliver training across the organisation in a much more efficient way. Individuals can access their own training records, as well as booking training for themselves. This self-service approach takes the burden off Mackenzie and his team, and ensures individual training requirements are managed much more proactively.

The Results

A new nurse in Mental Health requires 3 weeks of statutory and mandatory training. The beauty of assessments and a blended learning approach is that the initial training need can be accurately gauged and training can be delivered flexibility. This brings huge time and cost savings.

OUH went live with ES LMS in June 2012. The implementation process has been a success in itself as UH were working to very tight timescales. From awarding the contract to ES the implementation was then achieved within 8 weeks. In those 8 weeks, the ES team’s challenge was to manage the 5 stage process of implementation – discover, build, verify, rollout and review – to deadline and without compromising on quality.

Mackenzie is delighted with results so far. “During the implementation process the ES team were incredibly helpful and supportive, and continue to be so. They understand our organisation and they helped make what could have been a very stressful process run smoothly. So far, since we launched 2 months ago, user feedback has been fantastic.”

Mackenzie already sees improvements in efficiency since implementing LMS. “From a staff perspective, it is much more flexible. Staff don’t have to schedule time away from delivering care, they can do it 24/7 in line with the business.” The self-service element of the system reduces reliance on the L&D team, who were previously relied heavily upon to process bookings.

In the first 2 months of LMS being live, a phenomenal 20,000 assessments were completed, proving successful user adoption very early on. This activity directly replaced 20,000 training attends, tested competence and released over 1000 days back to delivering clinical care.