A multimillion-pound transformation of a former Sunderland office block is helping train the healthcare professionals of the future.
The £5million-plus regeneration of Shackleton House is today playing a key role in training the next generation of medics: including nurses, psychologists, paramedics, and soon, doctors.
Along with a specially-equipped, fully working training ambulance, the cutting-edge facilities aim to give students a taste of real-life emergencies within the safety of a training environment.
The once 1990s office building is now a modern facility with two mock hospital wards, assessment suites, a mock Patient Transfer Suite and an industry-standard Isolation Room, designed to give students as close to a real-life emergency experience as possible.
On the second floor of the building there is a Point of Care area and multi-functional space with dividing walls and rooms of various sizes for a variety of uses, including objective structured clinical examination (OSCE).
The top floor is the most recently developed space, which now replicates a Mental Health Ward. Here students will learn how to deliver restorative interventions to those experiencing mental distress and illness, develop interpersonal therapeutic skills to promote recovery and positive mental wellbeing.
The School of Psychology is also housed here.
A recent video captured a simulation exercise which saw nursing and paramedic students taking part in a mock car crash rescue.
James Rodgerson is a student paramedic at the University.
He said: “For me this type of exercise is about as close to the real thing as you can get. It allows you to see the progression you are making very quickly.”
Stacy Humphrey, a second year Nursing student, also took part in the exercise.
She said: “I still have 18 months left on my course but this is preparing me well for going out into the working world. The simulation has been fantastic providing an NHS environment within the University.”
Mark Willis, programme leader for paramedic science and out of hospital care at the university, said: “This exercise helps show that we now have the ability to provide training for wrap-around care for emergency patients.”