Derriford Hospital has long been an advocate of simulation training and over the last five years has established a comprehensive timetable of simulation programmes for a wide variety of multi-disciplined hospital staff. With the latest addition of the wireless patient simulator - SimMan 3G, the simulation team at the hospital is now adding another dimension to staff training by running specifically tailored simulations away from the simulation suite and into the actual workplace, so that teams working together also train together, and so further help to improve patient outcomes.


Transferring learning to the workplace

Tom Gale, Consultant Anaesthetist gives an insight into some of the training at the hospital. “When training our theatre teams, for example, we ask them what critical incidents and near misses they have had in the last 6 months so that we can tailor the learning objectives to those particular scenarios for those particular people. Contextualising the simulation in this way makes the scenarios more authentic, and the lessons learnt are more easily transferred to the workplace. Ultimately, team performance can be strengthened and latent threats in the clinical environment identified to promote better patient outcomes if similar incidents arise again in the future.”


The value of In-Situ Simulation

An exemplar of the recent Chief Medical Officer’s vision to embrace simulation as a means of ‘building a safer healthcare system’ (1), Derriford Hospital is continuing to expand its simulation programmes. Dr. Gale continues, “The mobile nature of SimMan 3G has enabled us to create simulated environments across the whole hospital. We can produce simulation learning in theatre environments, the Intensive Care Unit, the High Dependency Unit and the Emergency Department. We also have simulation programmes for neonatal training, for paediatrics, maternity and delivery suites. At Derriford Hospital, we believe that in-situ simulation is a perfect vehicle to bring simulation training to a wide variety of healthcare groups throughout the hospital.” 

1. Safer Medical Practice: Machines, Manikins and Polo Mints, 150 years of the Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health (UK) 2009