Kettering General Hospital has started work on a £600,000 project to improve simulation training for its staff including doctors and nurses.
The trust is building a new High Fidelity Simulation Suite complete with realistic full-sized patient manikins - which are computerised and can be programmed to simulate real medical emergencies.
The suite - developed in collaboration with Health Education England - will provide opportunities for its staff to real practice life-saving interventions and simulate how to deal with a wide variety of surgical and medical problems.
Kettering General Hospital’s new chief executive Simon Weldon carried out a turf cutting and ground breaking ceremony this week (Tuesday, April 17) with Corby contractors Jeakins Weir.
The new suite is being built adjacent to Postgraduate Education Centre and should be complete by August 2018.
Director of medical education Dr Syed Fayyaz Hussain said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for us to provide the very latest in simulation technology for our medical students, doctors, nurses, other healthcare professionals and indeed all hospital staff.
“We already have a Clinical Skills Lab and Dental Skills Lab which have been heavily used for many years but these have fewer high tech features and we are somewhat limited in the kind of training we can perform there.
“The new simulation suite will essentially double our simulation capacity and provide significantly more advanced facilities.
“It is known as a high fidelity suite – which means it will have full size computerised dummies which can be used by teams of staff to tackle simulated emergencies such as heart attacks, sepsis or other acute clinical conditions.
“Staff who are responding to the simulated emergency will be observed by their tutors who are in an adjacent control room which has one-way glass.
“This means we can study exactly how the team treat the patient and what they say and do. This enables us to provide individuals with invaluable feedback on their performance.
“It is not just about the mechanics of doing things. In many ways the manikins are treated like real-life patients so we are looking at how staff explain and communicate with them and how they respect their privacy and dignity.
“By providing very realistic scenarios we can enable medical students, doctors in training, and our own staff, the opportunities to practice working in difficult situations completely safely.
“It will mean when doctors and nurses are faced with real situations for the first time they will already have experience of dealing with those scenarios as a simulation and know exactly what must be done and what is expected from them as part of a team.”
Medical education manager Becky Dioh said: “Simulation training is a great way for staff to improve their skills and boost their confidence.
“In our existing Clinical Skills Lab we already do resuscitation training and teaching procedures such as fitting cannulas, putting in feeding tubes, and chest drains using partial, and full size, manikins.
“The new suite will have full sized computerised manikins so it will greatly improve the realism of our training and enable us to programme in a very wide variety of medical and surgical situations for staff to deal with.”