e-Learning Anaesthesia (e-LA)

In light of the current financial climate the Department of Health (DH) recently conducted a review of e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) as part of an overall assessment of DH activities. Currently, the programme has been put on hold and the capital allocation to e-LfH has been withdrawn.

The programme will continue with a small technical team to support the e-LfH platform and the learning management system. This will ensure that users can continue to access existing content, but for the immediate future there will be no funding available for further development work on the programme. Dr Patricia Hamilton, Director of Medical Education (England), is responsible for Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) and is well aware of the importance of e-LA and is working hard to ensure that this unique resource is not lost.

e-LA is a lead project within e-LfH and we remain concerned by the potential loss of a valuable learning resource that provides high quality training for our doctors and other clinical staff; e-LA continues to make a real contribution to the quality and safety of patient care. We recognise that funding is under pressure across the board and difficult decisions will have to be made regarding the priorities for health and education. However, we will continue to urge the Government to ensure that e-LfH remains high on the agenda whilst the DH conducts a strategic review of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), due to report in December 2010.

In many cases one or more of the Medical Royal Colleges are lead providers of e-LfH projects so we will also explore potential collaborations with lead Colleges to secure the future delivery of projects, in addition to reviewing other possible funding streams and partners. I can assure you that no decision will be taken without a thorough evaluation of the benefits and costs.

I hope you will continue to support e-LA during this difficult time, and would encourage you to register at www.e-LA.org.uk if you have not already done so.

Thank you for your support and I will keep you informed of progress.

Dr Peter Nightingale
President, RCoA


05 July 2010