Having celebrated excellence since 2007, the C+D Awards remain the most prestigious accolade in community pharmacies. VirtualOutcomes is honoured to be on the shortlist in this year’s C+D Awards in the online initiative of the year category.
Chemist and Druggist (C+D) have been in the business of informing, supporting and championing community pharmacies since 1859. Today, 160 years later, they are still at the forefront of providing the latest news to those working within the industry.
The Value Of C+D Awards
The C+D Awards provide an ideal opportunity to highlight the wonderful people and companies that work and support community pharmacies. Everyone shortlisted for this year’s awards, and in previous years, have made exceptional contributions and are true ambassadors for the profession.
Considering the sheer amount of work that the finalists have delivered goes far beyond what you’d expect from a pharmacy company. From a robot dispensing monitored dosages and a patient group directive for a community pharmacy weight management service to creating “symbiotic relationships” with local GP surgeries. Have a look at the impressive finalists from 2018.
2019 C+D Awards
2019 marks the 12th year of the awards and it’s only fitting that it will be held at the biggest venue to date, the Intercontinental 02 Hotel. The awards will take place early June in London and the team at VirtualOutcomes is really excited to attend as it is the perfect opportunity to showcase our online training initiative.
How Did VirtualOutcomes Identify The Need For Online Training?
Community pharmacies are under huge amounts of pressure with funding cuts and the changing model of care. While LPCs, CPPE and other bodies provide excellent face-to-face training, they are seeing fewer people attending events. Offsite training is challenging as pharmacy staff struggle to attend for various reasons. Several factors play a part like not being able to drive or certain staff constraints limiting their ability to attend daytime or evening meetings.
The situation is only exacerbated as they also rely on those attendees to feedback the information to the rest of the team. However, the NHS Long Term plan places Health Promotion and Self Care advice firmly with community pharmacies. As a result, pharmacy team development is crucial for our long-term sustainability. It became clear that the online and on-demand suite of training materials could help fill this void.
Genesis: VirtualOutcomes Online Training Initiative
To make this a truly successful initiative, the training needed to cover the entire pharmacy team and not just pharmacists. Following discussions across Avon LPC, three of us decided to set up VirtualOutcomes as we observed every LPC in the country was facing the same challenges. VirtualOutcomes became a business centred on delivering high-quality online training for pharmacy teams. Each 15-minute course covers the background of the topic, key focus areas and what it could look like in your pharmacy.
For example, our recent Cervical Cancer Screening module covers the background on why screening is so important. It also contains top tips on how to open discussions along with pictures and guidance on setting up your pharmacy to start conversations with patients.
All courses come with resource links allowing the team to easily access free leaflets, posters and patient materials. We have therefore removed the need for every pharmacy to hunt the internet for materials. You can find this course on our website .
Related Article: ‘Importance Of Cancer Screening Programmes’
The Impact Of Online Training On Pharmacies
Among others, community pharmacies are our customers and they absolutely love the courses. Pharmacy managers can provide their teams with high-quality training materials to watch and learn at any time. Teams can watch together and reflect on the topic or they can watch individually without having to leave the pharmacy. Every month a new public health topic is released and these can be found in our training calendar.
We also release business-related courses during the year and in 2019 we have already provided a course on How To Implement FMD. Coming up will be courses on how to approach your GPhC Peer Review and Reflective Account. Last year the business courses included GDPR and QPS to inform teams on how to achieve the required standards. As always, these courses demystify the topic at hand and clearly explain how to achieve the intended goal.
VirtualOutcomes Training Success
Last year, more than 1,000 delegates watched our course on how to implement GDPR and nearly 1,100 watched the course on Bladder Cancer. It was in support of the National Pharmacy Public Health Campaign – Blood in Pee. It has also been possible to work in partnership with Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK, Bowel Cancer UK and Public Health England to obtain short video clips to include in our training as this adds variety. At the same time, it also demonstrates credibility and quality as these organisations do not give permission to just anyone.
We know this from speaking to pharmacies as they now wait for our topic to be released so that they can launch their own pharmacy campaign. We have aligned our 2019 events to the six National Public Health Campaigns and have also provided additional public health topics for pharmacies as a significant number now run monthly campaigns.
The Impact Of Our Online Initiative On Customers.
All pharmacy staff crave learning opportunities and often become demotivated with little to no career development or progression. Our courses have been watched over 19,000 times since the Company went live in January 2018. In a poll of over 2,000 delegates, 74% gave the courses 5 out of 5 stars and 19% rated them 4 out of 5. This means that a total of 93% of our delegates highly rate our courses.
Here are some of the quotes from our delegates:
- Pharmacist – “Really interesting and shame I had to get back to checking”
- HCA – “Could never make training, but found online training excellent”
- HLP Champion – “Great to have ideas for HL Zone”
- Manager – “Opportunity for all team members to complete the training”
What Else Do The Courses Include?
Each delegate can also complete a series of CPD questions designed to test their understanding of the course. Upon successful completion, the delegate receives a VirtualOutcomes certificate which they can print and add to their HLP portfolio and their GPhC Training log.
One of our recently released courses helped to ensure that all pharmacy teams knew how to engage and deliver an effective ‘Help Us Help You’ National Pharmacy Campaign. To support this we produced a quick 1-minute social media video:
How Our Online Initiative Developed And Motivated Pharmacy Teams
We recognised that pharmacists didn’t always get time to watch online training during the day so we turned them into Podcasts hosted on iTunes. So far we have had more than 1,800 downloads with excellent feedback as people listen during their daily commute. Many even use them as examples of planned training to meet their CPD requirements.
We are an accredited Royal Society for Public Health centre and have launched an accredited Health Champion online course to help pharmacies achieve Healthy Living Pharmacy status. In a very short space of time, we have numerous delegates complete the course and our pass rate is over 98%. The feedback has been exceptional and pharmacies especially appreciate our personal phone calls to let them know about the successful candidates.
Many pharmacies viewed our GDPR module as a way to ensure that they are compliant with the NHS England Data Security and Protection Toolkit. The reason why is that it allows pharmacy managers to easily cascade the information to the team.
One pharmacy said that: “As Virtual Outcomes is the only appropriate GDPR training I have found for staff (and believe me, I’ve looked everywhere), it is now a keystone to my GDPR compliance strategy.”
– Sanjay Ganvir, Greenlight Pharmacy
In a recent Survey Monkey, 68% of people rated the courses 9 or 10 out of 10 with a further 26% rating them 7 or 8. 77% of delegates wanted to expand their knowledge and 58% also wanted to deliver public health campaigns. One response in the comments section was: “I have viewed 4 of the Virtual Outcomes webinars so far, and they are brilliant. Just about the right time length and detail.”
Improving Community Pharmacy’s Connection With Other Healthcare Professionals
Creating the online training courses is crucial to the development of our business which is why we work closely with other partners to bring more high-quality resources to the pharmacy teams in an accessible medium. We have developed relationships with Universities and thanks to our strong links with charities such as Diabetes UK, Cancer Research UK and Bowel Cancer UK, they provide us with fantastic materials for the courses.
We were also able to use materials from Public Health England to augment the Bladder Cancer course. These materials are available to various local public health teams in councils so that they can see the sort of training that pharmacy teams receive to support public health campaigns.
Online Training With VirtualOutcomes
The online training courses from VirtualOutcomes help pharmacy and surgery teams remain up to date on various healthcare topics. In addition to gaining invaluable knowledge, they will also be better equipped and prepared to provide support and advice to patients. You will find our training courses on obesity, smoking, diabetes and alcohol powerful, interesting and easily accessible.
If you’d like to keep informed on all the news from the C+D Awards, simply follow the #CDawards hashtag on social media. We will also update our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts with everything you need to know.