Sir Ian Botham opens the new simulation suite to help train next generation of doctors at the Friarage Hospital

Posted on in The Friarage, The trust

A simulation suite to help train the doctors and nurses of the future was officially opened at the Friarage Hospital today (7 September).

Cricketing legend Ian Botham joined the Friends of the Friarage Hospital and staff at the new facility which boasts a state-of-the-art ‘manikin’ – paid for by the Friends – which can breathe, blink, react to medicine and even speak, simulating life-threatening medical conditions such as a heart attack.

The new suite at the Northallerton hospital will give students including trainee doctors, nurses and GPs, the chance to treat a ‘living’ manikin, and hone their skills carrying out a diverse range of procedures and treatments before using them to treat actual patients.

It will also be used for a variety of staff training in the hospital including venepuncture, cannulation and catheterisation.

Funding for the new unit has been made available through Health Education England Yorkshire and Humber and North East and Cumbria while the Friends of the Friarage generously donated almost £59,000 of their reserves to pay for a range of equipment including the Sim Man – a realistic, full-body adult wireless patient simulator.

Sir Ian and Lady Botham at the Friarage Hospital Northallerton

Sir Ian and Lady Botham at the Friarage Hospital Northallerton

Sir Ian Botham commented: “We’ve had a long relationship with the hospital, which seeing this stuff has now become one of the most modern hospitals in the area, so we had no hesitation whatsoever to come down.

“The simulation is quite amazing. It’s a bit weird when this thing laying there, this manikin suddenly starts moving, breathing and talking to you!

“I think a lot of people will benefit from this. We’re very much local and very proud of what has been achieved here.”

Sir Ian and Lady Botham enjoy a demonstration of one of the high-tech training simulation manikins at the simulation suite

Sir Ian and Lady Botham enjoy a demonstration of one of the high-tech training simulation manikins at the simulation suite

Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education Lead Louise Campbell, welcomed the opening of the new suite saying: “The opening of this new facility at the Friarage is a big step forward and enhances our ability to provide the best learning experience possible for the doctors and nurses of the future and we’re delighted Sir Ian could join us today.

“The manikins don’t just teach our students how to diagnose and treat patients – which is important – they also develop effective communication skills, teamwork and build confidence and we’re absolutely thrilled with the donation from the Friends.

“However the suite is not just a resource for trainee doctors, it will give all our staff the chance to participate in real-life scenarios and perfect their skills without posing a risk to patient safety in a quality teaching environment.”

Chairman Upendra Somasundram of the Friends of the Friarage and Sir Ian Botham open the new simulation suite

Chairman Upendra Somasundram of the Friends of the Friarage and Sir Ian Botham open the new simulation suite

Friends of the Friarage Chairman Upendra Somasundram said: “Every penny we raise at the moment through fundraising is going towards the MRI Scanner Appeal – the donation for this equipment has come from our reserves.

“It’s great that we have this facility at the Friarage Hospital which provides a safe learning environment for medical students, doctors and health professionals who will be working with patients and also that new developments, such as this, are happening in the hospital.”