Montagu Hospital Simulation Centre celebrates 20th Anniversary

Last month, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Montagu Hospital Simulation Centre. Since the opening in 2003, the Simulation Centre has been a valuable resource for healthcare professionals throughout the region, providing a safe and controlled environment for effective training and education.

The Montagu Hospital Clinical Simulation Centre was founded by Dr Alasdair Strachan and Dr Alastair Graham in March 2003, who had the vision of creating a Multi-Disciplinary Simulation Training Centre to support colleagues with their clinical practice. The Fred and Ann Green Legacy funded the internal construction of the Centre, a generous donation that made it possible to create the facility – a project which cost a £498,000 investment at the time.

Over the past two decades, the Simulation Centre has evolved to become a leading facility equipped with advanced simulation technology, including high-fidelity manikins, audio and video recording capabilities and a range of medical equipment. The Centre’s sophisticated simulator system allows professionals to train with a mechanical manikin which models the cardiovascular and respiratory systems of a human being and produces a range of physiological and audio responses to interaction. This unique environment allows professionals to engage with different patients and medical problems they may encounter and explore both the technical and non-technical skills required to manage various clinical situations.

The Simulation Centre plays a crucial role in improving patient safety within healthcare settings by providing health professionals the opportunity to practice and refine their skills in conditions designed to replicate real-life scenarios. The simulator allows teams to rehearse emergency events that are rarely seen in everyday practice, creating a safe space to evaluate responses, learn from problems and put theory into practice.

A breadth of training courses are provided at the Centre at Montagu Hospital, including communication in palliative care, acute medical emergencies, infection prevention and control and foundations in obstetrics anaesthesia. As a key asset in the NHS’ national education goals and initiatives, the Centre also runs courses for medical students on their longitudinal integrated clinical placements and for doctors returning to practice after absence such as secondment or maternity leave.

The variety of courses facilitated by the Education Team at the Centre enable healthcare professionals in all roles to develop their clinical expertise, build confidence, and enhance their teamwork and communication skills, all of which are vital for delivering high-quality care.

Proudly run by a knowledgeable and dedicated team of colleagues, the Centre is comprised of three consultants and five clinical educators with a varied background of experiences in nursing, theatres, and emergency response.

The Montagu Simulation Centre Team

The team has also led training courses outside the Centre, using their mobile simulators to provide learning opportunities for staff in Park Hill Hospital theatres, nurses in regional care and settings and tracheostomy training for paramedics.

The number of delegates that have attended training courses over the years stands testament to the success and leading position of the Simulation Centre. Since 2003, the Centre has welcomed over 28,544 healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants from the Trust and across the Yorkshire and Humber region.

During this time the Centre has also gained academic standing, with colleagues publishing notable papers in the British Medical Journal and Wiley InterScience. The team have also presented at conferences nationally and internationally as prominent and experienced simulation educators in the field, achieving recognition for their success in simulation-based education.

Richard Parker OBE, Chief Executive at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “The Montagu Hospital Simulation Centre has been instrumental in helping us to deliver high-quality care to our patients for the past two decades. We are incredibly proud of the Centre and the role it plays in supporting the outstanding education and training of our clinical staff and colleagues throughout the region. This is a fantastic milestone, thank you to all the colleagues past and present that have helped to make the Centre a credit to our Trust.”