Medical chief opens virtual reality simulation centre at Royal Free Hospital

(From left) Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, Royal

(From left) Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust medical director and David Sloman, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust CEO, at the centre opening - Credit: Archant

NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh has officially opened a newly refurbished simulation centre at the Royal Free Hospital.

The hospital in Pond Street, Hampstead, is one of the few places in the UK which trains surgeons using virtual reality simulators.

Sir Bruce met with staff and toured the centre on Monday, which has been relocated to purpose-designed premises.

The equipment used is virtually the same as those used in real life and replicates endovascular and keyhole surgery, as well as gastrointestinal and endoscopy procedures.

Sir Bruce said: “I have been hugely impressed with this state-of-the-art facility, the equipment and the quality of the training that is offered.

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“Realistic simulators offer a valuable opportunity for clinicians to learn with no risk to patients.

“An educational facility of this quality is a tribute to the dedication, vision and leadership of the trust.”

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The simulation centre also runs courses to help train professionals in medical emergency scenarios and shares all of its learnings with other hospitals.

Professor of gastroenterology, Owen Epstein, said: “There are many benefits to the new centre.

“The simulation room, for example, where we use high-tech mannequins to train professionals in a range of emergency procedures, includes cameras, allowing a live link up to the seminar room for training purposes.”

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