A pioneering lab in Sunderland will change healthcare

Left to right: Professor Tony Alabaster, Sue Brent, Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt and Shirley Atkinson.
Left to right: Professor Tony Alabaster, Sue Brent, Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt and Shirley Atkinson.
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A pioneering new lab in Sunderland is set to revive patient care in the region.

England’s leading nurse, Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, travelled to the city to launch the new Living Lab facility at Sunderland University.

Sunderland is breaking new ground

Lisa Bayliss-Pratt

It is aimed at changing the way healthcare professionals are trained and how they work in partnership to improve patient care.

The Living Lab is the final element of the university’s £5.5m Sciences Phase II re-development.

Students of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing, now have access to the most advanced healthcare industry simulation equipment, unavailable at any other university.

And, for the city, and region as a whole, this means a new generation of highly trained healthcare providers, including nurses and paramedics, graduating with the skills, knowledge and experience to improve the quality and capacity of patient care.

Prof Bayliss Pratt, Chief Nurse of Health Education England, said: “I have not experienced anything quite so exciting as the University of Sunderland’s nursing and care ambitions for the people of Sunderland and beyond. Sunderland is breaking new ground.

“It is crucial that we never tire of our collective mission to ensure that we have the right people, in the right place, at the right time, with the right values to care compassionately, safely and effectively for the patients, carers and citizens of our local communities.

“In the new Living Lab ideas can flourish into ground-breaking new ways of thinking and practising. I’m very excited to be here to see the facility completed and honoured to open it, I think that the University of Sunderland’s practical approach to tackling the healthcare challenges we face is inspiring, it has raised the bar for Higher Education providers across the country.”

Professor Tony Alabaster, Dean of Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing, said: “I’m very proud of what we have achieved, the team is absolutely committed to improving patient care in Sunderland and the region, and they know that begins with improving the quality of teaching.

“Our Living Lab is unlike anything you will find anywhere else, and it needs to be. The move to patient-centred and precision medicine, integrated and community-based healthcare is having a profound impact on the skills our healthcare providers need.

“We want to ensure our nursing, paramedic and pharmacy graduates are well equipped with the skills to meet those challenges throughout their academic career and beyond.”

The Living Lab has been developed in collaboration with City Hospitals Sunderland and other regional trust partners, plus Sunderland’s Clinical Commissioning Group.