STRUCTURE: Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust has officially opened a new state-of-the-art facility to improve patient safety.

East Surrey Hospital’s Simulation Suite was officially opened on Monday 26 March, by the family of the late Valerie Newman who the suite is being named in honour of.

She died in October 2011 after working for the trust for 22 years as a consultant anaesthetist before retiring to take up the position of lead consultant for patient safety.

The Newman Suite is East Surrey Hospital’s first dedicated medical simulation suite and is used to recreate common and uncommon clinical scenarios in an environment designed to replicate the clinical setting.

It will be used to train FY1 (Foundation Year 1) and FY2 junior doctors, anaesthetists, medical and nursing students, to help them improve their understanding of clinical management and to develop non-technical skills and improved awareness of patient safety.

The largest room in the Simulation Suite replicates a ward and is equipped with a hospital bed, a “patient” (with a heartbeat, pulse, expanding lungs, removable teeth, pupils that dilate, bowel sounds, and even the ability to talk), resuscitation equipment, and piped gases with an anaesthetic machine.

The suite has control room where trainers modify the scenarios trainees must manage.

In the control room trainers also take on the roles of the “patient’s” family and friends by phoning and sometimes appearing on the ward. In the suite there is also an observation room, where trainees can observe and get debriefed.