BCU students to benefit from £200,000 home simulation room


Trainee health and social care workers at Birmingham City University (BCU) will be able to immerse themselves in real-world situations without leaving campus thanks to the creation of an innovative home simulation room that will ‘future-proof’ the university’s teaching and learning.

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Birmingham City University

The self-contained flat - which features a bedroom, shower room with toilet, and open plan kitchen and living space - is hooked up to cameras that can stream lessons and content live to classrooms across the campus and to students at home.  

It also contains digital technology that more and more people are using to look after their health, so students can become attuned to ever-changing public behaviours. 

Technology includes oxygen saturation monitors and electrocardiograms that can track and send electronic health information to care providers to help monitor and make informed decisions about the care they provide. 

In addition, the simulation room, at the University’s City South campus in Edgbaston, can also cater for residents with disabilities, so frontline workers can get a better understanding of the situations that could face them in the field.   

“It is essential to future proof what we do,” said Professor Maxine Lintern, Acting Dean of BCU’s Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences. 

“We have to work out what our students are going to need five years down the line and respond accordingly so we remain at the forefront of healthcare teaching.”  

The home simulation room, which was designed by architects Broadway Malyan and built at a cost of £200,000 with the help of a grant from Health Education England, will provide practical, hands-on training for healthcare students across a wide range of courses. 

“The idea is to create an immersive space that can be used by the entire faculty,” said Scott Colton, Lecturer in Clinical Skills and Simulation at BCU. “We also wanted to create something that is authentic. It has to feel like you were entering someone’s home.” 

Dr Stephen Wanless, Head of Department for Clinical Skills and Simulation at BCU, added: “It can be used by everyone, from nurses, midwives, paramedics and physiotherapists to teachers, social workers, occupational therapists, and speech and language therapists." 

BCU is leading the way with its innovative approach to healthcare teaching. 

Its City South campus already boasts several simulation suites, including an endoscopy academy and imaging hub, to give students a realistic flavour of healthcare provision and expose them to situations outside of typical placement experiences. 

“What we want to do is recreate the entire patient journey, from home to hospital setting, then discharge and back to home,” said Associate Professor Claire Maguire, Strategic Lead for Clinical Skills and Simulation at BCU. 

“This facility allows us to do that, which benefits everyone who uses it.” 

Associate Professor Maguire also highlighted the reach that the embedded digital technology will give the university, its staff and its students.  

“We have nursing cohorts of 600, so we need the capability to run events for large audiences,” she said. “This facility gives us the ability to scale up and scale down our delivery and teaching.” 

The home simulation suite will, like some of the other medical facilities owned by the university, be available for commercial use. 

“Our facilities are already being used for television programmes and by external stakeholders and organisations,” said Professor Lintern. “The home simulation room is no different.”

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