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Hospital simulation suite set to train medics of tomorrow

Trust chief executive Julie Gillon with college principal Darren Hankey; and back row (left to right) trust non-executive director Steve Hall, trust workforce project manager Vicki Spinks, trust deputy director of workforce Gary Wright and college vice principal Andrew Steel.
Trust chief executive Julie Gillon with college principal Darren Hankey; and back row (left to right) trust non-executive director Steve Hall, trust workforce project manager Vicki Spinks, trust deputy director of workforce Gary Wright and college vice principal Andrew Steel.

A health trust and college have teamed up to boost the careers and skills of young people and health professionals.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and Hartlepool College of Further Education are working together to develop a state of the art simulation suite at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

The facility will give students a unique insight into what it would be like caring for patients in a real hospital ward as the family of human mannequins will be able to talk, breathe and react like any patient might in real life.

The simulation suite will also be open to the whole community as a centre for learning, helping the health professionals of today improve their skills and build their confidence in managing challenging and often high-pressure situations.

The Trust and the College met recently to sign a Memorandum of Understanding.

Julie Gillon, chief executive of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This new facility will offer a unique opportunity for training and learning.

“This is about training the healthcare staff and social workers of both today and the future.

“We want to create the next generation of health staff. This fantastic facility will allow us to give young people a unique and inspiring insight into working in a healthcare setting. It’s something we hope will inspire many to start a long and successful career in the health service.

“It’s also a facility we will be using for the training of the current generation of healthcare staff and social workers – helping share good practice and learning in a safe and realistic environment.

“We are delighted to be working with such a fantastic local partner on this exciting new project.”

Scenarios the facility can re-create include a hospital ward area, an operating theatre and even a patient’s own living room.

This will be the next step in the development of the trust’s simulation suite vision. The suite at the University Hospital of North Tees has been open for several years and has contributed to the training of hundreds of people.

Darren Hankey, principal of Hartlepool College of Further Education, said: “The proposed partnership between Hartlepool College of FE and the North Tees & Hartlepool Trust aims to address some of these challenges by ensuring that the workforce of today and tomorrow has the necessary knowledge, skills, qualifications and confidence.

“Health and social care is one of the largest curriculum areas at the college and recent support from the Tees Valley Combined Authority has witnessed the introduction of a ward and facilities to deliver telehealth/telecare skills at the College’s Stockton street site.

“The partnership will afford the opportunity to build on this ensuring a world class approach to the delivery of health and social care education and skills right here in Hartlepool.”