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Simulation Celebration

14 June 2017

Health Care

The simulation suite at Southend University Hospital has now been open for just over a year. During the last 12 months the state-of-the-art suite has been used to deliver a wide range of training opportunities to staff.

The £120,000 centre is designed to look and feel like a typical patient bay, complete with a sophisticated manikin that can be used to stage any medical scenario for training and better understanding.

Training in the simulation suite has benefited many health professionals. Regularcourses have been run for junior doctors and newly qualified nurses in how to manage acutely unwell patients. Midwives have also had study days simulating managing unwell pregnant patients with additional medical issues.

Simulation suite training has also been delivered to the medical students who have placements in Southend Hospital, which has helped them develop skills in managing deteriorating patients.

Gillian Donohue, a lecturer practitioner who runs simulations during training,said: "Operating theatres and recovery have delivered multiprofessional courses called Post-Operative Emergency Treatment using Simulation (POETS) where a team of doctors, nurses and operating department practitioners work together to manage an unwell patient. This helps improve skills and knowledge but also develops strong and effective healthcare teams."

The newest course to take advantage of the simulation suite facilities is the StaffNurse Acute Care Skills course (SNACS).

Fiona Sommerville, Practice Development Nurse, explained more about the course: "SNACS has been implemented to equip newly qualified nurses and overseas nurses with the skills to assess and identify deteriorating patients, implement interventions to manage and safely care for patients."

Simulation is closely linked with improvements in patient safety which is of paramount importance in the Trust and it is really paying dividends for Southend Hospital and its patients, making it not just an investment in equipment but in people as well.

Gillian added: "We have the full set up here, no other hospital in the area has it set up so close to real life practice. Professional development is important in helping to train medical students, trainees and overseas nurses alike. It will help attract and retain staff. It's also something really beneficial to our existing workforce, not only does it allow them to identify risks and areas for improvement, it allows us to develop our staff in a safe and controlled environment."