Vera develops her digital skills

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Marie Curie, Northern Ireland’s leading palliative care charity, will benefit from over 250 hours of training from Barclays’ Digital Eagles to empower nurses across its network to improve their digital skills.

The scheme will allow Marie Curie nurses to spend more time on the crucially important work of caring for their patients, as well as enabling them to help patients with a wide range of practical day to day tasks more efficiently.

A team of Digital Eagles from Barclays are providing £25,000 worth of free digital skills training, tailored for all Marie Curie Nurses that work across Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, to ensure that they have the tech knowhow to use new tablet devices. The 250 hours of training aimed at giving the nurses confidence in the digital world includes sessions on getting to know your device, how to use apps and protecting your information online. The training will enable nurses to use their digital skills to save time on administration duties and give them back more time to spend on patient care.

Following a successful pilot programme with Marie Curie Nurses, Barclays Digital Eagles are rolling out the free training workshops empowering the community nurses to develop their digital skills and confidence online. Additionally, the Digital Eagles have made an online tutorial video which is hosted on the Marie Curie intranet to enable new nurses and those who couldn’t attend the original sessions to benefit from the training.

Dungannon Marie Curie Nurse, Vera Kelso, took part in training and is now using her tablet as part of her daily work when visiting patient homes. She said: “My IT knowledge is all self-taught and thanks to my grandson! When I heard that we were getting tablets I wasn’t too sure how I would be able to use it to help me. The training provided by the Barclays Digital Eagles was great…it has given me a lot of confidence and now I’m not afraid to use my tablet.

“For me one of the most useful functions on the tablet is the maps app. If you or your family is living with a terminal illness it can be a stressful situation. The last thing you need is me contacting you to ask for directions. The maps app allows me to get directions that I can check when I call the house at 9pm to confirm nursing is still needed.

“This may sound basic, but the benefit it brings to the patient and family members is significant…it also means I don’t get lost as much as I used to!”

Mayte Hough, Barclays Digital Eagle said “Marie Curie nurses carry out such a fantastic service to our communities it was an absolute pleasure to work with their nurses and help them to develop digital skills. We hope through this training the nurses will be able to use their new found digital confidence to save them time on administration so they can dedicate more time to their vital hands on work in the community.”

Eamon O’Kane, Divisional General Manager for Marie Curie NI, said: “Our Marie Curie Nurses work in communities across Northern Ireland from urban cities to rural villages, looking after people in their own homes. The training delivered by Barclays Digital Eagles will help enhance patient care by equipping the nurses with the digital skills they need for the job, from accessing digital patient records and checking drugs, to developing their knowledge through our online training courses. The Digital Eagles’ training will ensure they have the confidence to use their tablets to connect with other nurses and access information and resources wherever they are and whatever time of the day or night. We’re already seeing the positive impact of the early training sessions, both for the nurses and the people they are looking after, which is excellent”

Barclays Digital Eagles is an initiative aimed at empowering communities across the UK to help them build digital skills and confidence. The Digital Eagles offer a range of free services including in branch ‘Tea and Teach’ sessions whereby anyone can pop in and learn about computers over a cuppa with one of the friendly trainers. In addition, the Digital Eagles provide free online ‘Digital Wings’ courses aimed at helping people with a range of abilities take their digital skills to the next level.