This free online course is available via the Virtual College training platform and has been endorsed by the National Children and Young People’s Diabetes Network. The course is aimed at all professionals who work in schools and other settings where they may come into contact with children and young people who have type 1 diabetes.
Get the latest updates
This is the first e-learning module on type 1 diabetes to be delivered to those working in schools that have responsibility for the care of a child or young person who has a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. The module is divided into two levels - basic and advanced. The basic module gives an awareness of what type 1 diabetes is and how it is managed - this is directed all members of staff in the child or young person’s school so that they can all increase their understanding of type 1. The advanced module builds on that knowledge and gives more in-depth education on topics such as blood glucose testing and how to administer insulin. It is expected that those staff that have day-to-day responsibility for providing direct support to a child or young person with type 1 would access this module ahead of the diabetes specialist nursing staff coming in to deliver face-to-face consolidation training. No such nationwide online educational tool exists, and therefore the education of school staff has to be delivered completely in person by diabetes healthcare professionals. This is a time-consuming process and can often delay the child’s return to school following diagnosis. This is also the first such e-learning module to have been developed collaboratively by diabetes and network teams from three geographical areas across the UK.
In 2014 we convened a multidisciplinary working group consisting of diabetes specialist healthcare professionals from the East of England, the North West and the Thames Valley CYP Diabetes Network areas. The aim was to identify how we could best improve and streamline the process of delivering standardised diabetes education to those staff in schools with a responsibility for supporting CYP with type 1 diabetes. It was quickly decided that the best and most efficient way to do this would be through the development of an e-learning module. The group met regularly over a two-year period to develop the medical educational content of the module. In 2015 we started to work with the design team from Virtual College to define the visual theme and overall look and format of the module. It was decided that the module should be hosted by Virtual College as it had designed and successfully hosted the Safer Use of Insulin online training module. Our module would fit very nicely in its patient safety suite and it would be able to monitor and provide stats for us on the demography of our users. In 2015 we were successful in securing a £10,000 grant from Awards for All, supplemented by funding from JDRF and a subsidy from Virtual College meaning that the product could move into the production phase at the end of 2015. The beta version was road tested by a number of schools in the selected network areas. The final product officially launched across the UK in late spring 2016.
In the first 12 months the basic and advanced modules have been completed by over 9,000 education staff from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We have received very positive feedback from patients and their families who feel that the module covers the basics of type 1 diabetes in a clear and easy to understand manner. Parents report feeling much happier about their child’s safety at school knowing that staff have successful completed this online training module. Diabetes HCPs have found that it greatly increases their efficiency in being able to deliver timely education to school staff following a child’s diagnosis. Teachers and support staff report that the material is presented in an easy to access format that explains things to them in a visually appealing manner, and in language that they can understand. The amount of time that diabetes healthcare professionals have had to spend delivering multiple sessions of face to face education in schools is costly to the NHS. With the introduction of the e-learning module it is anticipated that school staff will already have a greater knowledge of type 1 diabetes and its management and therefore diabetes HCPs’ will be able to spend less time delivering face-to-face education. And more time supporting families in the clinic setting. The face-to-face education they do deliver can be done so in a more efficient and effective manner.
Sustainability and Spread
It has been adopted by the National Children and Young People’s Diabetes Network and is now available for school staff working across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The first three years of the project have been funded through an Awards for All grant, funding from JDRF and the subsidy from Virtual College. One year into the project we are working with the team at JDRF to identify future sources of charitable funding to sustain the project in the long term. Since the project was launched in June 2016 it has been accessed by over 9,000 school and education staff across the United Kingdom. As it is a generic tool and not area specific it has been easily used in schools everywhere.
Back to the top