Spencer Private Hospitals

Spencer Private Hospitals

Client interview with CEO Di Daw and HR Advisor Lorna Dopazo


Spencer Private Hospitals, in Ashford and Margate, offer well over 200 private treatments and surgeries and have built and sustained a reputation for delivering high quality private healthcare services in East Kent. Services offered comprise general surgeries, cosmetic surgery, nonsurgical cosmetic treatments and physiotherapy.


In mid-2017 the organisation was using another e-learning system, but had identified the following objectives:

  • to generate better reports, and tailor information by staff group
  • to create a more efficient staff induction process
  • to reduce paper-based processes
  • to improve the policies and procedures process, particularly to help with ISO
  • to increase staff engagement and reduce the need for chasing staff to complete training


In July 2017 the hospital director and matrons were impressed when they were shown the Relias system at the Patient Safety Congress and felt like it might better meet their objectives. They invited Relias to show the other staff what the Relias Learning Management System (RLMS) could do.

CEO Di Daw explains: “We’re always looking at adjustments we can make to improve our processes and make efficiencies, and we’re also an Investor in People so we’re committed to investing in the training and development of our staff. When we saw the Relias system, it was clear to us that this would be a perfect solution to help us do both.”

“We particularly wanted to improve our induction process and could see that the Relias system would be ideal for that, and we also liked the idea that all our all policies and procedures could be uploaded and managed by the system as well.”

HR Advisor Lorna Dopazo says: “As soon as we saw the Relias system we were all excited about what it would enable us to do. There were more courses than had been available to us before, and staff would have the ability to self-enrol on them. We were very impressed too by the reporting structure. Both the functionality and the content were an obvious improvement on what we’d had before.”

Top Benefits

Efficient Staff Induction

Previously classroom training at Spencer Private Hospitals included the induction for new staff, which took place in two-day sessions, every six months at head office. The CEO, the Business Development Director, Hospital Director, and HR Manager would all give presentations, but it was difficult to coordinate schedules, meaning that induction training would sometimes be delayed. One of the key benefits for the organisation is the fact that they have been able to record the induction training and turn it into an e-learning course which is now delivered via the Relias system.

Lorna explains: “Staff now do their induction by completing the course online, so they no longer have to wait and the necessary training can be rolled out to all new staff within their first couple of weeks. This saves us a lot of time and resources as managers no longer need to be available for induction days, and staff no longer have to travel to head office for their induction training.”

Streamlined Policies and Procedures Process

Spencer Private Hospitals’ policies and procedures are reviewed and audited annually, and the organisation is ISO certified so is inspected externally against all its processes. All policies and procedures must be up-to-date, and staff must read and sign them.

Di explains: “Previously somebody had to manually check that each member of staff had done that, so the Relias functionality which enables us to send policies out to staff, and get their acknowledgment that they’ve read and understood by them providing a digital signature, is really good for us. It saves an awful lot of paper and manual auditing.”

Advanced Reporting Capabilities

The organisation is finding that advanced reporting capabilities in the RLMS are giving deeper insights and streamlining processes.

Di says: “The reports from Relias are really good compared to those from our old e-learning system, as it was previously difficult to get reports and they’re weren’t tailored. If we wanted to pull off a report by clinical group that we’d set up, or by ward or specialty, we couldn’t. So, the fact we can do all of that with Relias is really good.”

Lorna adds: “Before we had Relias, managers would have to provide a report of what training had been completed that month by manually filling in a spreadsheet and sending it over. They don’t need to do that now, and they know how to add external courses in if their staff have been on them, so we can just download what staff have done. It feels like a huge step forward.”

Customised Training Plans

The organisation has used the system to create customised training plans for each employee group, making it easy to adjust as necessary for each group when new guidelines are released or new courses are added to the site.

Lorna continues: “There are some courses which are applicable to all. And we’ve created several of our own courses in the system to go out across the entire staff group too, including training for our incident reporting software, organisationspecific information governance training, and ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ guidance for what to do in a firearms or weapons attack. But we’ve built very bespoke training plans for each of the departments, with additional courses which are applicable to those staff only. This has been a major benefit for us.”

High Staff Engagement

Just five months into using Relias, the organisation already has very high usage and is making full use of the system’s Team Leaderboard feature to engage staff. The leaderboard promotes friendly competition within an organisation, by ranking teams using scores calculated by average compliance rates and average final test grades. Staff can watch their team climb the leaderboard rankings by completing their assigned training on time and scoring well on final tests.

Lorna says: “What I have noticed is that staff do engage more with this. Staff that would have needed a bit of chasing before to complete their courses—I’m finding that we don’t really have that at the moment. It does get a little bit competitive
amongst teams, that’s for sure! And I’ve had some really great feedback from staff on the quality of the content and how clear the courses are.”


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