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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

The Dental Directorate's Digital Transformation

The Dental Directorate's Digital Transformation

The Dental Directorate's Digital Transformation

The dental directorate has undergone a digital transformation over the last few years embracing technology and new ways of working to benefit the delivery of high quality education.

Around two years ago we redesigned SharePoint to provide a sound digital foundation behind the scenes, which, in turn, enabled us to make full use of the Office 365 product suite.

This led us to develop and maintain a presence on Turas Learn and Twitter to complement our existing customer-facing systems such as Portal. But digital isn’t just about systems, it’s about the people who use the technology, and the entire dental directorate have positively embraced the technology which keeps us connected, such as Microsoft Teams and the GoTo product suite.

Having these platforms in place, aided a smooth transition during the COVID-19 restrictions, enabling us to focus immediately on delivering education remotely.

Dental Care Professional (DCP)

Dental Care Professional (DCP) workstream rapidly developed new skills to deliver teaching using ‘GOTO Training’ and has adapted assessment processes to enable completion online. Those with prior experience have provided valuable support within the team and the wider directorate. This has enabled ongoing candidate progression and support within our current Pre-Registration Dental Nurse Training Programmes and the Orthodontic Therapy Programme during the pandemic.

Quality Improvement in Practice Training (QIiPT)

Quality Improvement in Practice Training (QIiPT) in conjunction with the Clinical Effectiveness team, were able to utilise GoToWebinar to deliver a series of supportive webinar sessions to the dental workforce in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and changes to guidance. They were able to engage audiences using interactive polls, discussion and responding to queries and producing FAQs - a challenge when guidance can change frequently.

Vocational Training (VT)

Vocational Training (VT) workstream is in the process of moving its study days online using Turas Learn for booking and GoTo products for delivery. The result is that advisors can now communicate with external trainers and trainees, on a planned and adhoc basis.

Priority Groups

Priority Groups workstream has been producing guidance around oral care in a hospital setting, a care home and care-at-home services, specifically related to COVID-19 - all of these are available on Turas Learn. The workstream has also been creating Open Badges in collaboration with Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) giving social care and third sector employees the chance to keep up to date with and gain qualifications in maintaining Oral Health.

Core and Specialty

Our Core and Specialty department has been making use of Turas Learn as a hub for information together with GoTo to facilitate conferences, to host aspects of its recruitment processes and will shortly be moving some study days to online delivery.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) team had already been using webinar technology and has been able to increase its capacity, on some weeks providing 10 or more webinars. The demand has been extraordinary with webinars of 500 capacity booked up within a few hours. This has resulted in the transition to using the Webcast function within GoToWebinar, which has increased capacity to 2000 participants per session.

The success of our webinars has been down to thorough planning and testing with our speakers and staff. We all have our clearly defined roles and responsibilities for organisers and facilitators to introduce the speaker, monitor the chat function to field the questions to the speaker and where possible we have been supporting the end users live via the chat function. This has contributed to a professional approach in the delivery of high-quality educational events and ongoing dedicated support to our speakers.

It is a continual learning curve for everyone. The most satisfying part has been observing people who may have lacked confidence with technology in the past, now embracing new challenges - leading and advising others in using the range of tools and technologies we have available to delivery high quality educational resources.

We look forward to exploring further options for utilising technology within our educational programmes in the future.

June, 23 2020