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P-104 Extending the reach of project ECHO: partner launch training goes digital
  1. Tracey McTernaghan,
  2. Sumendip Shoker and
  3. Max Watson
  1. Hospice UK, London, UK


Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hospice UK held a version of Partner Launch Training derived from the ECHO Institute’s programme in-person over three continuous days at offices in London and Belfast. However, the national lockdowns and social distancing measures made such an approach impossible. Hospice UK thus transformed their training programme to meet the virtual environment’s opportunities and challenges, and chose Zoom as the vehicle for training delivery. Between September 2020 and October 2022, Hospice UK has delivered Partner Launch Training via Zoom to 83 participants from 32 organisations. This presentation will aim to describe the changes made to the traditional programme and their impact.

Adapting to a virtual format required a complete revision of the programme to maximise learning, increase interactivity, and to take account of both ‘Zoom fatigue’ and the participants’ different learning styles. The ECHO team decided to run training over a three-week period, one day each week, and reformatted the programme sessions into 10 frequently asked questions that aimed to cover ‘The What?’, ‘The How?’ and ‘The Strategy’ of becoming an ECHO Hub. The team designed a Virtual Immersion ‘Learning Guide’ that accompanies the information provided within the Partner Launch Training Handbook. The Learning Guide is composed of three sections: pre-training activities, the nine questions and post-training activities.

51 participants (September 2020-October 2022) responded to the ECHO Institute evaluation:

  • 98% were satisfied with the learning experience.

  • 94% would recommend this learning opportunity to others.

  • 86% found the virtual experience better than or the same as they imagine an in-person session might be.

  • 96% agreed that this learning experience had given them the skills to build an ECHO programme.

Internally, Hospice UK learnt that the virtual format of Partner Launch Training allows them to reduce the cost of training by 20% per participant and expand participant numbers.

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