Covid-19 ICU remote-learning course (CIRLC): Rapid ICU remote training for frontline health professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK

Matthew Camilleri, Xiaoxi Zhang, Meriel Norris, Alex Monkhouse, Alex Harvey, Allison Wiseman, Pratik Sinha, Alex Hemsley, Sophie Tang, Arun Menon, Smruti Sinmayee, Mandy Jones, Jim Buckley, Ruth Johnson, Thomas Medici, Evelyn Corner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The unprecedented increase in critically ill patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic mandated rapid training in critical care for redeployed staff to work safely in intensive care units (ICU). Methods: The COVID-19 ICU Remote-Learning Course (CIRLC) is a remote delivery course developed in response to the pandemic. This was a one-day course focused on the fundamentals of Intensive Care. The course used blended learning with recorded lectures and interactive tutorials delivered by shielding and frontline ICU trained professionals. The course was developed within one week and piloted at three NHS Trusts. It was then made publicly available free of charge to redeployed healthcare professionals across the UK and Ireland. An iterative cycle of improvement was used to update the course content weekly. A course confidence questionnaire with quantitative and qualitative questions was used to evaluate effectiveness. Data is reported as n (%), means (SD) and thematic analysis was used for the open questions. Results: 1,269 candidates from 171 organisations completed the course, with 99 volunteer trainers. 96% of respondents rated the course as very or extremely useful. 86% rated the online platform as excellent. Overall confidence improved from 2.7/5 to 3.9/5. Qualitative data showed that the course was pitched at the appropriate level, accessible and built clinicians confidence to work in intensive care. Conclusion: This model of educational delivery with a rapid iteration cycle was a pragmatic, effective solution to knowledge-based training under social distancing measures. Whilst full course evaluation was not possible, we believe that this work demonstrates practical guidance on educational response in a pandemic as well as highlighting the altruistic nature of the critical care community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Intensive Care Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2022


  • COVID-19
  • critical care
  • education
  • pandemics


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