​New clinical simulation space for Bristol healthcare professionals

Sim Space Bristol

A new clinical simulation centre will provide state of the art training for  the next generation of healthcare professionals at Southmead Hospital

Southmead Hospital Charity has funded the £80,000 facility at Southmead Hospital’s Learning and Research Centre to train doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

The Clinical Simulation Space, known as Sim Space Bristol, provides a more immersive and realistic simulation environment for courses for post-graduate and undergraduate medics as well as for continuing professional development for healthcare workers.

The space is set up like a hospital ward with manikins representing patients and healthcare teams carrying out scenarios that mimic actual situations.

A new observation room behind one way glass has been built where the trainer will sit and observe trainees, recording their actions on cameras set up around the sim space to be played back during feedback.

By removing the trainer from the room it places trainees in a more realistic environment, encouraging teams to work together to solve problems as they would in their clinical environments.

A typical simulation scenario would be a junior doctor on call for the night asked to assess a deteriorating patient.  Working with their team in the scenario, they would assess and reach a diagnosis, before deciding upon a care plan and starting appropriate treatments.  

The scenario may be made more demanding for the teams involved by adding communication barriers, challenging co-workers, or more complex clinical issues.

Using video, the trainer will then talk through both the clinical and non-clinical skills demonstrated, such as how the trainee communicated, how they administered care, the decisions that were made and what improvements can be made.

Curtis Whittle, consultant anaesthetist at North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “Simulation in a safe clinical environment is vital for education, research, and patient safety.

“Regular simulation in a high fidelity space provides a ‘stress innoculation’ which optimises learning, improves staff resilience to acute stress and allows them to identify patient safety threats in a safe environment, which can reduce the risk of medical error in actual practice.

“Creating an environment like this enhances our excellent education provision and builds on our commitment to patient safety.

“We are grateful to Southmead Hospital Charity for providing the funding for this brilliant new facility that matches the expertise here.”

The new Sim Space Bristol has been redeveloped from an existing clinical skills room in the Learning and Research building on the Southmead Hospital site.

Sim Space can also be used by external course providers.

Elizabeth Bond, head of fundraising, said: “The new Clinical Simulation Space is a wonderful space that is really embracing technology to enhance medical training.

“One of the charity’s clear aims is to support projects that benefit future generations of healthcare professionals and the patients they treat.”

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