ONE of the country’s top health bosses has opened a hi-tech education centre in Sheffield to train the next generation of medics.
Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the National Health Service, yesterday launched a new £3.5 million clinical skills centre at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.
The unit will be used to teach specialist skills to student doctors, nurses and midwives, as well as more experienced doctors.
The state-of-the-art centre uses simulation equipment to allow staff to practise techniques thoroughly before working with patients.
Rooms can be kitted out to simulate an entire operation or medical emergency, with high-tech dummies which react to doctors’ treatments.
Other suites can be used to develop specific skills such as brain surgery, stitching and neonatal care.
Sir Bruce watched third-year medical students use an endoscope and keyhole surgery tools to stack up fruit pastilles inside a model of a human chest - a useful way of developing the skills needed for heart surgery.
Trainees carried out a simulation of a victim being prepared for surgery after a car crash. Others resuscitated a model baby with its vital signs being fed back into a monitor, depending on their actions.
Sir Bruce, who trained as a heart surgeon in Sheffield in the 1980s, said: “I think this is really exciting - and to be honest I wish these facilities were available when I trained.
“The visit has been very stimulating. The NHS is only as good as the next generation of health workers. If we can use technology to improve medical practices we can raise standards.”
Dr Andrew Gibson, deputy medical director of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said 1,200 trainees had booked in to use the centre in the next three months alone.