Information Services

Critical courses made free to support NHS

The University of Edinburgh has made a number of its courses available online for free in a bid to support frontline NHS staff in the fight against Covid-19.

Patient in critical care being tended by healthcare staff.

The information – curated by experts in critical care and respiratory medicine – is designed to equip clinical staff and healthcare providers with the tools to combat the virus and save lives.

The resources have been designed to support those who are treating critically ill patients for the first time and clinicians who are returning to the frontline after some time away. 

Online education hub

The University’s MSc Critical Care team – in conjunction with the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh – has developed an online training and education hub called the Covid-19 Critical Care Education Resource.

The resource hub – hosted on social learning platform FutureLearn– provides access to professional knowledge and expertise covering routine critical care activities, as well as Covid-19 specific education. It also provides practical tools for self-care and staff wellbeing.

Academics hope the learning resource will have an impact beyond the UK, particularly in supporting clinicians working in under-resourced environments.


Dr Graham Nimmo, Programme Director of MSc Critical Care, said: “Critical care focuses on the patient, their family, and the staff who look after them. As learners and teachers, it is our privilege to create a community of learning with the common goal of improving patient care and outcome whilst supporting staff. These are the principles upon which our MSc Critical Care programme is based. This resource is entirely open access and we hope that it will benefit staff in our NHS and beyond.”

Dr Graham NimmoProgramme Director of MSc Critical Care, University of Edinburgh

Respiratory health videos

The Undergraduate Medical Education team from Respiratory Medicine, Resuscitation and Clinical Skills have also made resources available online.

Working with staff from Information Services, and in collaboration with the NHS Lothian Medical Education Directorate, they have provided access to educational videos for frontline NHS staff.  

The videos address recognition of acutely unwell patients, with a particular focus on respiratory failure and its management.

Alongside a team of clinical educators from the NHS Lothian Medical Education, Dr James Tiernan, Consultant Respiratory Physician and Dr Emma Scahill, Clinical Teaching Fellow, are also facilitating regular online learning sessions for clinicians. ​

We are delighted to share these University resources with the rest of our clinical colleagues. These videos will be particularly valuable for our junior clinicians. They will also serve as helpful refreshers for those that have not worked in acute care environments in recent times, as we work together to deliver excellent care for people with Covid-19.​​

Dr James TiernanConsultant Respiratory Physician, NHS Lothian Medical Education


Related links

FutureLearn 'COVID-19: Critical Care' course

Education videos for frontline NHS staff

University of Edinburgh MSc Critical Care

Image credit: Getty/Martin Barraud


(Ed. This article was originally published on 9 Apr, 2020)