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State of the art simulation equipment helps staff and patients at Andover Hospital

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Andover War Memorial Hospital, has invested in new state of the art simulation manikins to help give the highest quality training for staff on site in their own Trust.

The equipment has been funded thanks to the funds awarded by the Trustees of the Hampshire Hospitals Charity, which is managed by the Trust and accepts donations from patients and their loved ones who want to give back to the hospital or ward they were treated in.  Simulation equipment is used widely in university and teaching hospitals but with the charitable funds, staff in Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals will be able to train in their own Trust education centre.

Simulation manikins are life-like models that can be programmed to mimic real patients’ illness. The adult and baby manikins are used in classroom style learning that gives staff the opportunity to practice real-life clinical scenarios in a safe and supportive environment, allowing staff to develop their confidence and expertise.

The simulation equipment is worth over £60,000 and is more dynamic than the other simulators owned by the Trust. It has five different stomach attachments, all simulating scenarios that staff could be faced with in a real life medical situation. The manikin can be programmed to have seizures and can simulate presentations of a head injury or drug overdose. With an anatomically correct airway, the pretend patient can also be programmed to go into cardiac arrest, allowing staff to develop their cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills. ‘Victoria’ also has neurological capabilities and her eyes can move to follow staff around the room.

The manikin named Victoria is mainly a birthing simulator, so that now obstetric and midwifery scenarios can be simulated which wasn’t possible before. There is also neonatal baby manikin to help simulate births.

The simulation manikins will help staff train in a wide range of areas, including resuscitation of a new-born baby and the anaesthetic team will be able to practice placements of an epidural line or work with a difficult airway.

Alongside the simulation suite which hosts Victoria and the other manikins owned by the Trust, staff can also utilise the education suite. Whilst the simulation suite mimics a higher acuity setting like an intensive care unit or bay in an emergency department, the education suite looks more like an inpatient ward which can be used for other types of clinical training such as moving and handling. By managing the whole environment all staff can benefit from immersive training.

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals said “Simulation plays an integral role to the learning and development within the Trust and we wouldn’t have been able to buy this incredible equipment without charitable funding.

Investing  in training our staff benefits everyone – simulation is an invaluable way for our staff to learn and it means our patients can be confident in the knowledge that our staff caring for them are well trained and prepared for anything that might come their way.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to anyone who has previously donated to the Hampshire Hospitals Charity, whether it helps us to fund training equipment, medical equipment or allows us to brighten up patient and staff areas; it makes a huge difference to everyone who comes through our doors.”

In recent years, teams have relied upon charity funds more and more to secure funding for vital equipment, as the demand on services continues to increase. To find out more about Hampshire Hospitals Charity or how to donate, please contact the Trust’s charitable funds accountant on 01256 312758 or email hh.charity@hhft.nhs.uk.