Cutting-edge technology helps Scottish medics hone their skills


Seven lifelike mannequins among the training tools at new Scottish Clinical Simulation Centre

Scottish doctors and nurses can hone their medical techniques on so-called ‘robot’ patients following the opening of a new national medical training centre at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

The Scottish Clinical Simulation Centre allows NHS staff and students from across the country to improve their skills by practising on life-like hi-tech mannequins in simulated operating theatres.

The family of seven robots includes ‘Stan’, who is the only one of his kind in Scotland. He can respond to anaesthetic gases and is used to train anaesthetists. Another resident is ‘Reg’, who has a heartbeat, can give blood and can describe his symptoms. Reg is used to train emergency doctors and nurses. There is also a baby, two children and a pregnant woman mannequin.

Scottish Health Secretary, Alex Neil, said: “Scotland has some of the safest hospitals in the world and these new training techniques will make them even safer.”

Dr Michael Moneypenny, director of the centre, added: “Feedback from course participants has been extremely positive, with staff reporting that they feel more confident and skilled in how they apply their knowledge, particularly in managing medical emergencies, which ultimately benefits patients.”

And Alex Linkston, chairman of NHS Forth Valley, added: “This is a fantastic facility and an excellent example of how cutting-edge technology is being used to train the nurses and doctors of the future.”

Staff are filmed as they work through a variety of clinical scenarios designed to test their skills, knowledge and experience. Videos are then played back for evaluation and debriefing so that individuals and teams can assess what went well, what didn’t go to plan and can learn from any mistakes.

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The Scottish Clinical Simulation Centre is supported by funding from NHS Education for Scotland.