Mayor Dan Norris joined and welcomed new City of Bristol College students set to benefit from a brand-new innovative simulation and training ward that will train and upskill the next generation of NHS and other health and social care staff across the city.
Mr Norris met current health and care students during the first week of term at City of Bristol College who will benefit from the exciting new facilities on site, including life-like manikins that blink and groan, along with virtual reality headsets, Bluetooth equipment and more.
This technology means that lecturers can achieve multiple objectives within sessions to reinforce learning of the skills that students will need to demonstrate when working in the NHS, and other health settings, in addition to things like patient safety and tackling health inequalities.
Rebecca Collins, who runs the Health, Education and Care department, and Nicola North, from the local Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ‘Integrated Care System’, explained to the Mayor how this type of training allows students to obtain practical experience, which means that they are better prepared for the real-world.
The new Simulation Space is also a crucial part of helping the NHS by addressing the skills gap in health and social care, easing pressure on understaffed NHS trusts in the long term, Mr Norris learnt.
This year, City of Bristol College plans to train and upskill over 200 new students, with most of them going on to work in the NHS.
The Mayor got to talk with students about the new facilities, discovering how it allows them to practice various skills, all whilst taking a tour of the human body with the virtual reality headsets and taking blood pressure on an interactive manikin!
Mayor Dan Norris said: “I’m delighted to check out the brilliant and brand-new facilities at Bristol College, though I have to say those patient manikins are worryingly lifelike!
“Here, the next generation of West of England healthcare professionals will learn the skills and techniques they will need and use for the rest of their careers, plus it will get learners engaged and excited about the range of careers right across health and social care.
“It means students and existing health and care staff within the community will get the chance to have real, hands-on experience, and get to practice skills where they might not otherwise get a chance to do so. That’s going to be really vital when it comes to training up the skilled NHS staff we so desperately need.”
Julia Gray, Principal and Chief Executive Officer at City of Bristol College, added: “The new facilities and resources here at CoBC will enable us to work closely with partners, supporting students into employment in NHS and social care settings to meet the current and future workforce need.
“This new equipment not only provides hands on learning for our students, but also supports our teachers to deliver real-life learning experiences using a gold-standard, sector approved approach.”
Next year, City of Bristol College will also be launching a T Level and a new apprenticeship for those looking to progress into nursing and other health professions.
The college received over £6 million from the Mayoral Combined Authority through the ‘Adult Education Budget’ last year.