A new £350,000 state-of-the-art training facility was officially opened at the St George’s campus, southwest London, on 15th December by Niall Dickson, chief executive and registrar of the General Medical Council.

The Advanced Patient Simulator Centre, a joint project between St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust and St George’s, University of London, provides specialist training for healthcare professionals and students. It allows them to test their skills in practical scenarios based on real-life situations including surgical and medical emergencies. They work with computer-controlled patient manikins that realistically mimic a wide range of health problems. Trainers can remotely control the manikins, which include both adult and child models, to instantly change the scenarios and introduce new problems for the trainees to tackle.

Opening the centre, Niall Dickson said: “This is a glimpse of the future for medical education, and the fact that the unit attracts doctors from across Europe shows that it is at the cutting edge. We need facilities that enable medical students, doctors and other health professionals to learn clinical skills, to work in teams and to develop their techniques in a safe environment, and that is what the team at St George’s is delivering.

“The ability to simulate accurately what really happens in the clinical situation has progressed by leaps and bounds and we need to embrace that technology across the NHS. St George’s is leading the way.”

The new centre will train around 2,500 people each year, including doctors, nurses, other healthcare workers and students, from St George’s as well as other London hospitals and universities. The project was funded by St George’s Hospital Charity, which also donated £150,000 for a new patient simulation manikin, one of the most advanced types available.

Notes to editors

For further information or interviews, contact Gordon Coutts in the St George’s, University of London press office on 0208 725 1139 or atgcoutts@sgul.ac.uk.

St George’s, University of London (SGUL), established in 1733, is distinctive as the UK’s only independent medical and healthcare higher education institution. It benefits from strong links with the healthcare profession, including a shared site with one of the busiest hospitals in the UK – St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust – in south west London.

SGUL is dedicated to the education and training of doctors, nurses, midwives, physician’s assistants, paramedics, physiotherapists, radiographers, social workers, healthcare and biomedical scientists. It attracts around 6,000 students, some of whom are taught in conjunction with Kingston University.

Research at SGUL has a UK and international focus and aims to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease in areas including infection and immunity, heart disease and stroke, and cell signalling. It also aims to enhance understanding of public health and epidemiology, clinical genetics, and social care sciences. www.sgul.ac.uk

St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest healthcare providers in southwest London. Its main site, St George’s Hospital in Tooting – one of the country’s principal teaching hospitals – is shared with St George’s, University of London, which trains medical students and carries out advanced medical research. The trust also run the Wolfson Neurorehabilitation Centre in Wimbledon, which cares for patients with neurological conditions, such as stroke and spinal injuries.

As well as acute hospital services, St George’s Healthcare provide a wide variety of specialist and community hospital based care and a full range of community services to children, adults, older people and people with learning disabilities. These services are provided from Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, 11 health centres and clinics, schools and nurseries, patients’ homes and Wandsworth Prison.