Tracheostomy Safety - e-Learning for Healthcare
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This programme is in partnership with...
  • Royal College of Anaesthetists

About the Tracheostomy Safety programme

Tracheostomy Safety is a web-based educational resource developed by the National Tracheostomy Safety Project, in partnership with the Royal College of Anaesthetists and Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare. The programme contains three sessions which are intended to support the educational requirements of those caring for ‘neck breathing’ patients, either routinely or in an emergency. The resources are applicable for general and specialist nursing staff, medical staff and allied health professionals from all backgrounds. Although primarily aimed at staff working in hospitals, the resources are also applicable to those who care for patients in community settings. These sessions also provide a learning resource for trainers, which can be effectively integrated into local teaching and educational programmes.

Adult tracheostomy and laryngectomy emergencies are uncommon but lead to significant morbidity and mortality. The National Tracheostomy Safety Project aims to improve the management of tracheostomy and laryngectomy critical incidents, many of which are the result of recurring issues.
Some relate to basic knowledge of anatomy or airway procedures, the types of tracheostomy tubes, the devices which can be attached to these and knowledge of the principles of nursing care for patients with a tracheostomy or laryngectomy. In addition, routine or emergency equipment is sometimes unavailable or not used correctly, and emergencies can be managed in a haphazard fashion.

To address these issues, the National Tracheostomy Safety Project has developed resources and emergency algorithms, taking into account existing guidelines, evidence and experiences. Key stakeholder groups include the Difficult Airway Society, Intensive Care Society, the Royal College of Anaesthetists, ENT UK, British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, College of Emergency Medicine, Resuscitation Council UK, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care and the National Patient Safety Agency.

More information

The three Tracheostomy Safety e-learning sessions are:

  1. Basic Knowledge about Tracheostomies and Laryngectomies
  2. Emergency Management of a Tracheostomy or Laryngectomy
  3. General and Nursing Care of a Tracheostomy or Laryngectomy

The sessions have been designed as an interactive online learning package, and contain videos, diagrams and images demonstrating procedures, equipment and techniques. Self-assessment is included, along with an archive of resources and links

Meet the team

  • Julia Moore OBE

    National Director, HEE e-Learning for Healthcare
  • Alan Ryan

    National Programme Director, HEE e-Learning for Healthcare
  • Brendan McGrath FRCA

    Joint Clinical Project Lead
  • Ed Hammond FRCA

    Joint Clinical Project Lead
  • Nick Cleary

    Project Manager, HEE e-Learning for Healthcare

How to access

In order to access any e-LfH programme, you will need an e-LfH account. If you do not have one, then you can register by selecting the Register button below.

Register >

If you already have an account with e-LfH, then you can enrol on to the Tracheostomy Safety programme by logging in to the e-LfH Hub, selecting My Account > Enrolment and selecting the programme. You can then access the programme immediately in the My e-Learning section.

Access for NHS healthcare staff in England

The Tracheostomy Safety programme is also available to NHS healthcare staff via the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). Accessing this e-Learning via ESR means that your completions will transfer with you throughout your NHS career.

Further details are available here.

Available to all

Tracheostomy Safety is also available to access at Please note that your progress and completion of the e-learning sessions via this site will not be recorded.

e-LfH is a Health Education England Programme in partnership with the NHS and Professional Bodies