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New digital platform enables NHS staff to work smarter and faster


Health workers speak about the difference that Turas has made to their working day

Turas is a time saver

Advanced nurse practitioner Gill Dennes does not class herself as a techie but she has surprised herself by becoming a fan of a new digital platform that allows her to juggle her four jobs.

Dennes, who is based at Oakley Medical Practice, also works as clinical lead for Fife’s Respiratory Managed Clinical Network, as NHS Education for Scotland (NES) general practice nursing education adviser and for Fife health board’s out-of-hours service. Thanks to her adoption of Turas – the e-portfolio platform developed by NES –Dennes, can keep on top of each of her roles.

She says: “It makes it much easier for me to switch from one to the other, and it also allows each of my roles to inform the others.”

Turas (Scots Gaelic for journey) is a learning management application developed by NES, in recognition of the increasingly complex, fast-changing and pressured nature of the work that NHS staff are required to undertake, and their need to keep up to date with current knowledge and practice.

It is cloud-based, and allows users to manage their education portfolios, participate in online learning, and browse courses, resources and news from any device, at any time, wherever they are.

NHS Education for Scotland’s director of digital transformation, Christopher Wroath, says:

“Until recently NHS staff have faced a maze of systems links, usernames and passwords. Our Turas platform has changed all that, by allowing users to manage their education when and where they want to, on phones and mobile devices, as well as on PCs.”

For Dennes, Turas is a time saver. Ahead of a recent appraisal with her GP employers, she was able to put all her learning material and research relating to continuing professional development (CPD) in one place. Getting organised for her appraisal meant simply selecting the relevant documents from a list in her e-portfolio and sharing them via email with her colleagues. Before Turas, this would have required rifling through a drawer of paperwork.

Patient care is also improved because of easy access to recent training. Dennes gives the example of notes she made at a training event on the tricky subject of hormone replacement therapy reviewing. She regularly refers to them and has changed her advice to patients as a result.

She says: “It is about organisation. In order to make the most of learning you have to have a system to organise it.”

‘It made the whole process so easy’

FY2 doctor, Graham Walker, on a four-month neurology placement at Queen Elizabeth University hospital in Glasgow, appreciates Turas’ clinical interface.

He admits to being “a bit of a geek” and likes to use it to reflect on interesting cases or clinical skills as they happen, as well as to keep track of care team feedback.

It greatly speeded up his recent application for a psychiatry placement, which required him to bring a portfolio.

He says: “It made the whole process so easy. I did not have to write anything out. All I had to do was to print out relevant material with my reflections.”

Recently he actually modified his practice for giving lumbar punctures, having asked for advice via Turas and received useful feedback on patient positioning.

‘I’m up to date for the first time in my life’

Practice education facilitator Jim Christie, who works for acute services based in Clyde, has been using Turas since it came out in April 2016.

He says: “I really like Turas. It is a clean interface and I know when I go onto a template, what it is I am looking at and what is expected of me.”

He can find himself working at any one of three hospitals, during his week, supporting newly qualified nurses and healthcare support workers. He often has limited pockets of time to fill while he’s waiting for a lift or a meeting to start. Thanks to Turas’ presence on his mobile, he uses these moments to create content for a presentation he can share seconds later with a group.

Previously it was impossible to work at home because of firewall settings, but now Turas allows him to finish a project after work.

He has used the platform successfully when mentoring IT-phobic nurses. The drive to keep up to speed with the current knowledge is an incentive to overcome their fears in trying the platform.

He says: “Clicking in on a forum may be a fear at first – but they soon get over it.”

He is a big fan of Turas personally because it helps him to keep up with his achievements, particularly to monitor his CPD and to report to his own manager.

He says: “I’m up to date for the first time in my life. I am more inclined to revisit and reflect on my research because the platform encourages that.”

Useful links:

Turas Dashboard