Sunderland University to open new centre for training health professionals

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A NEW £400,000 centre will open on Wearside to train health workers in the latest technology.

The University of Sunderland’s new Point of Care Centre, based in the Sciences Complex, will deliver education and training to all those involved in patient care.

GPs, nurses, health visitors and pharmacists will be among the healthcare workers who will benefit from access to advanced techniques such as cardiac imaging, in order to deliver the best care to patients.

Technology is moving fast in the health sector and the University of Sunderland wants to ensure health professionals have a full understanding of how the latest equipment being used in the industry works, from handheld ECG monitors to bench-top biochemical analysis devices.

A total of £400,000 has been spent on resourcing the centre which is a first for the region.

Funded through HEIF, the Higher Education Innovation Fund, the university is working closely with the region’s health sector to allow professionals access to leading science experts and some of the most up-to-date facilities in the UK.

The centre will also be used as a high-quality training facility for students.

Dr Chris Eggett, a former cardiac physiologist at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, is heading up the training programmes at the Point of Care Centre. Now, a senior lecturer at the university, Dr Eggett said: “The centre was set up in response to Government changes in the way healthcare is now being delivered.

“We felt it was an area that potentially had been overlooked and needed addressing.”

He said there is now more emphasis on community-based care in managing patients, such as the creation of large scale health centres.

Dr Eggett said: “It is technology that is already being used by health professionals in traditional hospital settings, but as devices become more portable it’s moving into a bigger arena.”

He said historically people think of point of care tests as quick checks on blood and urine samples, but advances in technology mean there are now many hand-held devices which can be used in the community setting, resulting in faster and more convenient diagnosis for the patient.

But, the doctor added: “In the Point of Care Centre we will provide the training needed to ensure this new technology is used correctly and appropriately.”

Professor Sue Hill, Chief Scientific Officer for England, will officially launch the new Point of Care Centre at 2pm on Friday, July 11.