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Hilary Garratt CBE, BSc, MSc, RGN, RHV, PGCE, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer: Professional and System Leadership for England, officially opened the new inter-professional simulation facility in the Faculty of Health and Social Care at the University’s Riverside Campus.

The teaching spaces have been transformed from separate skills laboratories to a simulation suite providing connected clinical spaces to represent the journey a patient/service user would take when navigating the health and social care system. 

There are two defined areas to the simulation suite, with one area focusing on the community care locations such as the patient home and community clinic setting and a second area focusing on the acute care setting providing a Triage Assessment Area, Maternity Delivery Suite, Children's Ward and a General Ward. These areas have been designed to allow the environment to simulate the journey a patient takes, which includes care in the community and hospital and also the transition between these settings through admission and discharge.

In addition to the physical spaces, a significant investment has been made to update the equipment in alignment with current practice, including the installation of electric profiling beds and patient simulators. The patient simulators are vital in enabling students to learn how to respond in a clinical situation in safe way before they use their skills in practice. The students are then able to develop clinical skills, decision making, leadership, team working and professionalism to become highly skilled nurses and midwives.

The suite also contains virtual reality technology to provide the students with a safe immersive learning environment by providing the student with a patient perspective to enhance their ability to display empathy and develop a deeper understanding of anatomy and physiology.

Students are able to take part in a wide range of scenarios with the creation of a living space, where they can hone their skills in primary care and prepare for working in the community.

Hilary Garratt leads a nursing and midwifery team in NHS England that focuses on a number of national statutory functions and professional development priority areas. She praised the new facilities and remarked that seeing the simulation suite had, for the first time in 37 years in the NHS, made her want to do her nursing training again.

Professor Angela Simpson, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Care, said: “We are so thrilled that we have had this investment from the University to transform how we educate our students and work inter-professionally across the Faculty.”

Hilary Garratt said: “It is a privilege to open this state-of the-art facility. It represents the reality of how people experience health and care across a life course and provides a safe and enjoyable environment for multi-disciplinary students to learn and develop.”

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