New Clinical Simulation Space opens at Southmead Hospital

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

New facilities have opened at Southmead Hospital to support the clinical training of healthcare professionals.

The Clinical Simulation Space, known as Sim Space Bristol, will provide state-of-the-art training for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

The facility in the Learning & Research Centre was funded with £80,000 by Southmead Hospital Charity and provides a more immersive and realistic simulation environment for post-graduate and undergraduate clinicians and continuing professional development for healthcare workers.

Clinicians carrying out a scenario using a manikin in the Sim Space at Southmead Hospital

The space is set up like a hospital ward with manikins representing patients enabling healthcare teams to carry out scenarios that mimic real-life situations.

A new observation room behind one-way glass has been built where a trainer will sit and observe trainees, recording their actions on cameras set up around the sim space to be played back during feedback sessions.

Taking the trainer out of the simulation creates a more realistic environment for trainees, encouraging teams to work together to solve problems as they would in their clinical environments.

A typical simulation scenario would be a junior doctor on call for the night asked to assess a deteriorating patient.  Working with their team in the scenario, they would assess and reach a diagnosis, before deciding upon a care plan and starting appropriate treatments.

The scenario may be made more demanding for the teams involved by adding communication barriers, challenging co-workers, or more complex clinical issues.

Using video, the trainer will then talk through both the clinical and non-clinical skills demonstrated, such as how the trainee communicated, how they administered care, the decisions that were made and what improvements can be made.

Curtis Whittle, consultant anaesthetist at North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “Simulation in a safe clinical environment and is vital for education, research, and patient safety.
“Regular simulation in a high fidelity space provides a ‘stress innoculation’ which optimises learning, improves staff resilience to acute stress and allows them to identify patient safety threats in a safe environment, which can reduce the risk of medical error in actual practice.

“Creating an environment like this enhances our excellent education provision and builds on our commitment to patient safety.

“We are grateful to Southmead Hospital Charity for providing the funding for this brilliant new facility that matches the expertise here.”

Trainers watch clinicians carrying out a scenario using a manikin in the Sim Space at Southmead Hospital

The new Sim Space Bristol has been redeveloped from an existing clinical skills room in the Learning and Research building on the Southmead Hospital site.

Sim Space can also be used by external course providers.

Elizabeth Bond, head of fundraising at Southmead Hospital Charity, said: “The new Clinical Simulation Space is a wonderful space that is really embracing technology to enhance medical training.

“One of our charity’s clear aims is to support projects that benefit future generations of healthcare professionals and the patients they treat.”