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MP opens £1.5 m healthcare simulation facilities

MP opens £1.5 m healthcare simulation facilities

Paulette Hamilton, the MP for Birmingham Erdington, has officially opened new healthcare simulation facilities at Aston Medical School and School of Optometry, which include medical simulation rooms with high-fidelity mannequins for students to practice real-life scenarios on.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by Aston University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Aleks Subic, and other members of the University executive and staff from the College of Health and Life Sciences. Paulette Hamilton said: “I know from my time as a nurse how important it is to have access to good training and the latest equipment. These fantastic facilities will give students the best possible learning experience as they prepare to enter their profession.”

Hosted by Professor Anthony Hilton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the College of Health and Life Sciences, guests were invited to tour the new facilities, including a clinical skills simulation room which allows students to practice in emergency settings and the only ocular simulation unit in Europe.  Professor Hilton said: “We are delighted that these new facilities have opened in time for the start of the new term, and that students can benefit from practicing their clinical skills in a variety of scenarios.  The acute care simulation room will allow for simulated emergency resuscitation scenarios that are very difficult to teach in real-life situations, such as heart attacks, acute breathlessness, and severe allergic reaction, and will be of great value in training students of medicine, pharmacy, and optometry.”

Professor Aleks Subic added: “The launch of the Aston University healthcare simulation facilities marks an important milestone in the development of our digital health precinct within the Birmingham Knowledge Quarter. By establishing world-class medical imaging, advanced visualisation, and digital diagnostics capabilities, we are in fact bringing Industry 4.0 to healthcare.”

The acute care simulation room will also be equipped with recording facilities, a debrief room, and control room. The funding has allowed the purchase of other training equipment, such as a hospital grade bed and single task trainer simulation equipment – for example, male and female catheterisation models, pelvic and rectal trainers, venepuncture arms, breast trainers, and abdominal trainers. The facilities were part funded by the Office for Students, which awarded the University £806,226 to set up the ‘high fidelity’ simulation A&E room.

The ocular simulation facility allows students to refine their skills in examining the health of the front and back of the eyes, and to experience a wide range of eye disease. One of the simulators allows students to utilise their smartphones to practice at home. They can gain direct feedback and be assessed by the simulators.

Pictured, left to right, are: Professor Anthony Hilton, Paulette Hamilton MP, and Professor Aleks Subic.

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