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Chief Nursing Officer opens newly-modernised healthcare teaching unit

Posted on 16 October 2013

NHS England’s Chief Nursing Officer Jane Cummings has officially opened the University of York's newly extended and modernised Clinical Simulation Unit.

Part of the Department of Health Sciences, the purpose-built education facility provides a safe and supportive environment in which healthcare practitioners and students can develop and enhance their clinical skills.


Student nurses Alex Young and Louise Towse with NHS England's Chief Nursing Officer Jane Cummings in the newly extended and modernised Clinical Simulation Unit at the University of York.

The unit includes two four-bedded hospital bays, an intensive care suite, a nurses’ station and a community bedroom. The ward area contains a range of healthcare equipment found in any modern hospital.

Built in 2002 and housed in the Seebohm Rowntree building, the Clinical Simulation Unit (CSU) was extended and upgraded over the summer thanks to £350,000 funding from the University and a significant contribution from NHS Yorkshire and the Humber, now Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber.

Jane Cummings was invited to visit the Department of Health Sciences by student nurses Louise Towse and Alex Young when they met at the NHS Change Day in London in March. As well as performing the official opening of the CSU, Jane Cummings delivered a lecture to staff and students as part of her visit.

Professor Hilary Graham, Head of York’s Department of Health Sciences, said: “We were very pleased to welcome Jane Cummings to York to perform the official opening of the newly-modernised Clinical Simulation Unit and to show her around our fantastic new facilities.

“The CSU replicates a number of areas where healthcare professionals may work; from the home environment and primary care clinics to acute hospital wards and critical care areas. It’s a wonderful resource and its modernisation will ensure that this facility continues to meet the needs of contemporary healthcare education well into the future.”

It’s a wonderful resource and its modernisation will ensure that this facility continues to meet the needs of contemporary healthcare education well into the future

Professor Hilary Graham

To enhance the feedback given to students, the CSU is equipped with excellent audio visual and IT equipment, including fixed and mobile cameras specifically designed for healthcare education. Video is held securely and playback can be done quickly on PCs in the department or on a large touchscreen television.

The CSU is also equipped with hi fidelity adult, junior and baby patient simulation manikins which replicate a range of physiological signs and symptoms. The manikins enable students to practice responding to real time clinical scenarios including medical emergencies.

As part of the national NHS Change Day call to action earlier this year, second year nursing students ran the Clinical Simulation Unit as a ward for the day, with students playing the roles of patients, relatives and carers, as well as medical staff. The aim of the event, which was organised by the student nursing society NurSoc, was to experience what it is like to be a patient first hand and to find ways of improving care for patients.

Organisers of the NHS Change Day were so impressed by the York nursing students, they invited Louise Towse and Alex Young to the Healthcare Innovation Expo to meet Jane Cummings and other senior health officials.

Notes to editors:

  • The NHS Change Day on 13 March was designed to create a mass movement of people working in the NHS demonstrating the difference they can make to patient care by pledging one simple act.
  • More information on the Department of Health Sciences

Contact details

Caron Lett
Press Officer

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