Cutting edge or ignored resource: assessing the uptake and content of the NHS e-Learning for healthcare on "identifying and supporting survivors of modern slavery".
BACKGROUND: Across the last decade, healthcare emerged as a critical space for combatting modern slavery. Accurate and informative training of healthcare professionals is, therefore, essential. In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) plays a central role in the identification and care of survivors. With training at the local-level variable, an e-Learning programme was developed. We ask: has this programme reached NHS staff? Is it accurate? Should the e-Learning approach be replicated around the world? METHOD: A Freedom of Information request has been sent to the NHS's Health Education England for data held on registrations, sessions and completions since 2014. An open session was used to assess the content. RESULTS: Across the past 5 years, there have been 31 191 registrations (≈2% of the workforce) and 1763 completed sessions (≈0.12%). Uptake remains low. We also identify deficiencies in the ways the programme represents modern slavery, and how the program engages with the complexities of national and international law and UK policy, as well as reporting mechanisms. CONCLUSIONS: e-Learning, while flexible and on-going, must be engaging and, we suggest, accompanied by in-person sessions. Materials should be co-produced with survivors and healthcare workers around the world to improve interest and relevance. Updating content regularly is critical.