Case studies

Newcastle University’s Surgical Training Centre

 
 

Newcastle University’s Surgical Training Centre is leading the way in being the only centre in the whole of the UK where trainee doctors can learn how to administer medical procedures on virtual reality machines and donated cadavers – human bodies.

Doctors, like many other professionals, need to regularly refresh their knowledge and keep up to speed with the latest ideas and changes in their field, and the training facility is able to mimic as close to a real life situation as possible.

The post-graduate certificate in ‘Minimal Access Surgery’ – keyhole surgery – is the latest in a number of new courses developed by Newcastle University to address employer training needs for the NHS and regional industry.

The need for the course came from recent changes to the working hours of doctors alongside increased competition for limited specialism places. The course is designed to allow the students to develop their surgical skills and therefore distinguish themselves from their peers.

It’s run in partnership with the Newcastle Surgical Training Centre at the Freeman Hospital on a part time-basis over eight months, a model that minimises disruption to the students and their employers.

Among those highly impressed with the course is Ken Campbell, of NHS Tayside, who says: “The techniques being employed here are at the forefront of their field. The course is designed to allow the students to develop their surgical skills and therefore distinguish themselves from their peers.”

Niall O’Loughlin, Employer Engagement Co-ordinator at the university’s Faculty of Medical Sciences, said: “Continuous professional development (CPD) is an increasingly important area of activity for Newcastle University. We have a strong relationship with Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust, and the opportunity to be partner with a facility like the Surgical Training Centre to provide world-leading training and improve patient outcomes is tremendous. It’s a prime example of the collaborative approach we take at Newcastle to meeting business training needs.”