Academy Online posted 22 January, 2021

NBIA online breast imaging resources accessed over 13,000 times

The National Breast Imaging Academy (NBIA) e-Learning for Healthcare programme (e-LfH) has ensured breast imaging training and professional development for qualified staff can continue, despite the coronavirus restrictions.

From April to December 2020, the new interactive e-learning sessions were accessed 13,517 times, with 873 colleagues spending 4,717 hours on learning and continuing professional development.

The initial aim of the project was to upload over 150 e-learning sessions, providing comprehensive coverage of all aspects of breast imaging and relevant aspects of breast surgery, pathology, nursing, oncology and risk and prevention.

The programme was due to formally launch in autumn 2020, but with the Coronavirus response having an impact on trainees and face-to-face learning, the NBIA and Health Education England e-LfH teams accelerated the launch. Ninety completed sessions are now available to support learning for radiographers, radiologists and breast clinicians.

Alongside mammography, breast clinician and radiology professionals, trainers and students, the-e-learning sessions are also being used by qualified and trainee nurses, doctors, healthcare support workers and radiology technicians.

There were 710 users across the regions of England, with a further 152 colleagues accessing the resources across the rest of the UK.  Feedback on the sessions has been very positive:

  • “I just wanted to say what a wonderful set of resources you have all established. We are using these resources now within our postgraduate education programme in order to support our distance learning activities and we are finding these are working really well to support our students. The content is to a really high standard. You couldn’t have developed these at a better time.”
  • “Good content especially for those just learning to carry out these procedures.”
  • ‘I am thrilled with the NBIA, during COVID and lockdown our radiographic staff were able to use it for CPD.’
  • “Very informative, great for anyone looking at working within a breast imaging department.”
  • “Good interactive tool. Videos were helpful and added to the overall learning experience.”
  • “The session was very educational with in-depth information on the topic. Images were used to help explain the topic. Very useful overall. No pre-requisite session is needed before this session. I would highly recommend this session. The session is useful for my work and I gained knowledge from it.”

Dr Megan Bydder, the NBIA’s Clinical Lead for the e-LfH programme, said: “We are really pleased with the take-up of the new resources and the positive reaction from users.  Thanks to the enthusiasm, experience and expertise of the breast imaging community who helped us to develop and test the e-learning sessions at a rapid pace, we’ve been able to support ongoing learning across the profession at a very challenging time.  This is a crucial aspect of tackling the workforce shortages across breast imaging.”

Martin Sinclair, Programme Lead for HEE e-LfH, commented: “We are delighted to work in partnership with the National Breast Imaging Academy on this fantastic project. The team are committed to ensuring that healthcare professionals and trainees have been able to access new and relevant e-learning resources throughout the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The quality and relevance of the NBIA e-learning resources is reflected in the number of times the e-learning sessions have been accessed, the hours which learners have spent in the sessions and the positive feedback received on the programme”.

The NBIA Academy Online will also include a new national case archive containing tens of thousands of validated breast imaging cases for all breast imagers to access for educational purposes. It will sit alongside the e-LfH programme and be held within the cloud, allowing learners easy access to the archive both in and out of the workplace.

For more information about the NBIA e-learning sessions, please visit:

The National Breast Imaging Academy is being run in collaboration with Health Education England and is hosted by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. It works with Public Health England, the Royal College of Radiologists, the Society and College of Radiographers, the Association of Breast Clinicians, the British Society of Breast Radiology, Breast Cancer Now, and Prevent Breast Cancer.