A teaching scheme run by Critical Care staff at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has won a national award for innovation and value.

‘Tea Trolley Teaching’, brings bite-size learning into clinical areas, meaning staff don’t have to leave their ward or department to take part in the 10 minute training sessions, which are often accompanied with a cuppa and cake.

The scheme won the Clinical Support Services Award at the national HSJ Value Awards last week (Friday 4 September 2020).

These showcase the most efficient and innovative projects in the NHS that are helping their wider organisations deliver better services and improved outcomes.

When announcing the win, judges said: ‘This provided a fresh, flexible and innovative way of taking training to the shop floor. 

‘This initiative can be replicated across all areas of practice and it is fantastic to see it targeted at challenging staff areas.

‘The project is particularly relevant in a COVID-19 world and provides a great link to overall staff wellbeing.’

The practical teaching sessions were spearheaded by Chris Gough and Claire Pickering, pictured, who are both doctors working in Critical Care. 

The pair approached Oxford Hospitals Charity for support to fund the idea, which was awarded through the charity’s popular Small Grants Programme.

The scheme has so far led to over 700 education sessions at the John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals in Oxford in just 12 months. Teaching sessions are given by a broad range of staff, with topics including chest drain management, targeted temperature management, advanced airway intubation and hand hygiene all receiving excellent feedback from staff.

Chris Gough said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled to have won this award. The whole Critical Care team has had an intense past few months, so it is great to have something like this to celebrate.

‘Claire and I are grateful that our department encouraged our ideas and we also really appreciate the support from Oxford Hospitals Charity who helped us get things off the ground.’

Claire Pickering added: ‘We are delighted to have won – particularly considering all the excellent projects from across the UK that were also shortlisted. These things are always a team effort and we are so thankful to all those who contributed and helped to establish the programme.’

Hazel Murray, Head of Programme at Oxford Hospitals Charity said: ‘When we read the bid requesting funding to help get this off the ground it was instantly clear that this was a clever, practical, and fun way to make learning really memorable, and to reach a large number of staff.  Our charity loves supporting projects like this, and we hope this initiative will be replicated in many areas of our hospitals.’

 Dr David Garry, Clinical Lead for the Intensive Care Unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital, said: "This project is a simple but fantastically effective way to provide high-quality training where people work. It has been exceptionally well received and hugely benefits the wider team.”

Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer at the Trust, said: “Tea Trolley Teaching is a fun, flexible way of allowing staff to deliver effective multidisciplinary training. We have seen huge benefits in morale and communication, and this translates into delivering even better care to our patients.

“Congratulations to Chris and Claire on the fantastic achievement.”