SERVICE: TV chef and hairy biker Simon King opened a new medical simulation training facility in Gateshead.

Mr King - whose wife and son are patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital - was shown round the area, which includes full-size computer controlled mannekins so that students and staff can practise skills, including assisting with births, in a room which can be set up as an operating theatre, A&E cubicle and ward.

Dr Alan Thomas, senior lecturer and consultant in old age psychiatry,  added: “It was identified almost five years ago that we needed a more specific training environment in the Trust. Like many hospitals we had access to an environment dedicated to educational activities, but it followed the old classroom model of lecture theatres, and rooms full of chairs and desks.”