Going online with Northamptonshire NHS Foundation Trust

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We love to share stories from our community of STORM® participants and facilitators. This time, we feature Lisa and Cazz from Northamptonshire NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) in their journey to delivering STORM® training online.

Lisa is the STORM® lead at NHFT and focuses on adult services, and Cazz is the STORM® Children and Young People (CYP) lead for the Trust.


Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) offers more than 100 services, including mental health, community and inpatient nursing, sexual health, physiotherapy, and a range of specialty children and adult services. STORM® facilitators Lisa Hibbins and Cazz Broxton have been busy running training online over the past year, and with over 5,000 staff they have been able to use this opportunity to meet the diverse needs of their colleagues.

Lisa is the STORM® lead at NHFT and focuses on adult services, and Cazz is the STORM® Children and Young People (CYP) lead for the Trust. Their training sessions aren’t always limited to one cohort of colleagues, though. Cazz and Lisa often team up to run training sessions, as well as those from across other NHFT services such as prisons.

“The diversity of groups helps everyone to understand and learn about the other services. It can be a really rich way of learning about other areas of the Trust”, says Lisa.

Cazz appreciated the opportunity to work closely with Lisa too:

“Because we were delivering online in the last year, both of us have facilitated training sessions together. It’s essential to have a good co-working relationship, especially via screens, and to tune into your partner to manage, anticipate, and respond to the cohort virtually.”

As well as the STORM® level 1, 2 and 3 Clinical skills delivery, STORM® basic training is offered to all administrative staff in the Trust. To Lisa and Cazz, it is this progressive approach that brings about the most emotive training moments and some very powerful connections between colleagues.

“All receptionists, secretarial staff and Healthcare Assistants that may have service user contact can participate in STORM®’s basic training”, explains Cazz. “These have been some of the most emotive sessions. For many, it is the first opportunity they’ve had to be able to reflect and make connections with personal and family experience. Every time we have significant disclosures, those colleagues are hugely appreciative of that opportunity. Quite often people have asked for further one-to-one reflection and processing.”

Like all of us, the NHFT team has grappled with moving training online. In fact, they’ve supported us at STORM® to develop our online training by piloting some of our first online sessions. It’s been a challenge as well as an opportunity.

According to Lisa, there have been some accessibility advantages to moving training online. “I would say that one of the key advantages has been the ease of clinicians being able to find time to take part in online training. Because of logistics and technical issues, it takes some time at the beginning to get some people set up.”

Cazz agrees:

“At the beginning of a session, it’s important to set the scene, so it’s a challenge when time is spent fixing technical issues. Also, emotional safety is key and we need to have visual contact with everyone in the group. We need to labour that in the setup – some people turn cameras off and we have to be very skillful to help them to understand why we are expecting to be able to see them”.

“I wouldn’t advocate delivering training as a single practitioner”, adds Cazz. “There needs to be one person attending to the content and one facilitating the emotional support, regardless of the size of the group. And of course, someone needs to sort out getting people back when tech fails them!”

STORM® training remains a popular offer for NHFT colleagues. “We would be able to fill nearly double the spaces we can offer”, says Lisa. “We have people on a waiting list for places.” The Trust continues to run all training online, including STORM®, while it remains difficult to safely meet up in person.

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