Grants for VR training in health and social care

Apply now to Care Reality for 12-week access to virtual reality learning platform and receive a free VR headset

As we’ve reported before, a range of tech solutions are attempting to ease the current crisis in health and social care. The HUG by LAUGH teddy bears and the Dorothy app each help people living with dementia – and in turn ease the burden on staff and families. Meanwhile, Abbots Care launched a well-being app for staff, with a sizeable impact on retention.

Screenshot of the FLO virtual reality learning portal showing hands above a sink

Image courtesy of Care Reality

According to the Scottish-based Ed-Tech company Care Reality, there’s a 30% turnover rate in social care staff and 2.23m additional posts need to be filled in the sector by 2035. Yet here, too, tech can make an impact.

The team at Care Reality has developed FLO, a virtual reality (VR) learning platform. Those interested in working in the health and social care sector, or those who have begun careers there, can immerse themselves in a realistic, 3D virtual work placement, with simulations of various situations they might face, such as being an emergency call handler, care assistant of pharmacy assistant.

Developed through collaboration with a range of health professionals, the FLO systems offers more than 15 targeted learning modules that aim to bridge the gap between traditional learning methods and the complex challenges staff may face in real life. These range from a general introduction to work in the health and social care sector to more specific issues such as clinical observations, dealing with spillages and hygiene, and managing resources in the workplace.

Overall, the aim is to engage new staff and improve skills and training.

Now anyone working in the sector can apply for a grant to receive 12 weeks free access to the FLO system, along with support and assistance from the Care Reality and a complimentary VR headset. Grants are available to health and social care organisation in the public, private and third sectors, as well as to further education institutions, training providers, and career and job placement agencies. The initiative is open to organisations across the UK and the Channel Islands.

Applications close at 5 pm on March 29, 2024, with the 12-week learning experience taking place in May, June and July. For more information and to apply, see Health & Social Care Virtual Reality Learning Grant 2024

‘Our journey so far has been supported by organisations such as South of Scotland Enterprise, Alzheimer Scotland and NHS Education,’ Ross Toomer, CEO of Care Reality, tells ‘Collaboration with private and third-sector social care providers has also been key to our content development and getting it right for the sector.

‘Moving forward, we would like to deepen our connection and engagement with local government. Their involvement is key to tailoring solutions that not only meet but exceed the needs of care professionals and those they support. Ideally, this opportunity provides those within local government an opportunity to collaborate and co-design VR learning solutions that make a real difference.’

In related news:

25% drop in emergency admissions from care homes thanks to app

£6.4m boost for skills training in Cornwall and Devon

Community digital health hubs in Sunderland


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