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Helen Welsh
Helen has over 10 years experience in Film and TV content creation for International and UK broadcasters and Production Companies.
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After the success of the Phase 1 Maudsley Learning VR Champion Pilot, we are pleased to announce its expansion. We are looking for 20 NHS staff members to receive fully funded VR debrief training for Reducing Restrictive Practice and De-escalation Training. Recruited champions can be Clinical and Non-clinical team members and can be from Acute General Trusts or Mental Health Trusts and can train.

Simulation Nurse Tutor and joint faculty lead for this project Elaine Thomas said:

If we want to make meaningful progress in reducing restrictive practices, then de-escalation must be a key foundation. All behaviour is communication, and people are beautifully complex, which is why in healthcare we will always come across situations that challenge. This style of learning gives us the opportunity to understand the people we care for, and ourselves, as human beings, and the dynamics between us. It creates space to think about those all-important human factors, that so often can mean the difference between a person feeling listened to and validated, or unheard and unseen. By linking in the undeniably immersive experience of VR, you are invited to be a witness to events as they unfold, and feel the emotions in the room. It brings it to life in a way, that can feel worlds apart from e-learning and more traditional classroom-based training. And the beauty is that you can re-visit the experience as much as you want, and catch those moments you might have otherwise missed.”

Dr Claire Tiley, Fellow in Medical Education at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said of the Phase 1 Content:

“From my own experience, I know that training with these new simulations on the Virti platform is a very different experience to traditional classroom or e-learning. I think 360 video scenarios are very emotive. Using the VR headset, it really felt as though you were in the room and you could feel the emotion from the characters. As a bystander in the scenario it’s almost as if the characters are asking for your help or for you to defend them.”

Phase 1 of the rollout successfully delivered race inequality training to South London and Maudsley staff 148 staff with 6 champions delivering this training across the trust. The content for this project was created by Maudsley Learning as part of the Tackling Inequalities and Discrimination Experiences in health Services (TIDES) Study. The TIDES study is funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The aim of this project is to develop Virtual Reality (VR) scenarios informed by the qualitative data collected for TIDES Phase 1 and TIDES Phase 2, and their advisory group. The 3 scenarios created aim to form a key part of immersive training and education intervention resources for NHS staff, managers and policymakers from all ethnic backgrounds and will be integrated into the study’s Race Equality Assessment toolkit. This is to enable managers and staff to ‘walk in the shoes of’ ethnic minorities staff in occupational roles most affected by racism, discrimination and other workplace adversity in an approach that aims to be engaging, empathic and experiential.Maudsley Learning paired these immersive scenarios with a structured debrief with sessions being run in a similar manner to traditional simulation training.

The training scenarios places learners in true to life 360-degree environments enabling them to observe interactions between trained actors and mental health professionals.

Building on the success of Phase 1, Maudsley Learning now aims to roll out the VR Champions programme pilot to national NHS trusts. The training aims to provide staff with VR training in their work areas directly without the need to visit a centre or education department. This allows for flexible learning and allows champions to tailor training to suit their own department rather than a one size fits all approach.

James Pathan, Director of operations, said “When E learning was first introduced, many staff had limited access to PC’s and often would be tasked with completing this training in their department on a staff access computer. We are taking a similar approach to VR training and providing staff with direct access to VR equipment to be able to access training with greater ease and flexibility, directly in their own department.”

We are looking for:

  • Clinical and Non-clinical Staff from Acute general and Mental health trusts
  • Staff who are able to commit to a full day’s online training in July 2023. This will include full debrief training. You will receive a certificate for attending this, this also counts to CPD points.
  • Staff with capacity to train colleagues
  • An agreement to provide feedback to Maudsley Learning
  • To be enthusiastic and motivating

You do not need any prior debrief experience. Our current champions have a range of experience with many never having debriefed before. They have gone on to successfully train their colleagues and grow into new roles in their team because of this. Having a basic understanding of technology is a good start. You do not need to be a tech wizard, however. Full technical training is provided.

If you are interested in registering your interest for this unique opportunity or have any questions, please contact Maudsley Learning’s Media and VR producer Helen for more information at by May 31st 2023

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