Blended learning: conflict resolution training for ambulance first responders

In 2004, the NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service (CFSMS) were asked to provide training to raise awareness of conflict resolution techniques for all frontline NHS staff, including ambulance personnel. Specific ambulance guidance was published in 2007—this guidance sought to protect NHS workers from the perception that there was evidence of violence against health workers (NHS CFSMS, 2007). South Western Ambulance Service Foundation NHS Trust (SWASFT) trained, in a classroom setting, all members of its 999 frontline, patient transport and all other patient-facing staff during 2009–2010. Following this training, concerns were raised about how the Trust was to undertake the dissemination of this training to its 900 plus volunteer community responder staff, scattered across the community in Dorset, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly. The team within SWASFT began work, with a partner company, to design a blended learning solution—combining e-learning with face-to-face training in order to teach community responders the theoretical concepts of conflict resolution. This project was undertaken in partnership with Solutions Training and Advisory Ltd, a specialist conflict resolution training company. This article aims to provide a detailed overview of the approach used by SWASFT when designing a suitable training programme for its community responders. In addition, it seeks to demonstrate the value of this type of educational approach when dealing with community based support workers who, by virtue of their role, do the training in their own time and in their own homes.

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