HRH The Princess Royal unveils new name of University’s training hospital ward

12 July 2023

The new name of a hospital ward used by health students as part of their learning at the University of Derby’s Chesterfield site has been unveiled today (12 July) by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.

The simulation training facility, which has been renamed The Florence Nightingale Ward to honour the founder of modern nursing, features a number of hospital beds, artificial patients and other NHS-standard equipment enabling students to learn in state-of-the-art facilities to prepare them for entering the healthcare workforce.

The new name was unveiled with a plaque by HRH The Princess Royal at the site, which is home to a number of the University’s health and nursing programmes.

HRH The Princess Royal meets University staff
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal met University staff during her visit. Photo by Alan Fletcher

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said:

“Florence Nightingale had strong connections to Derbyshire, and so we are proud to recognise her inspiring and wide-reaching impact through the renaming of our simulation training facility, which enables students to gain experience and develop their skills in a ward environment during their studies.

“As an institution we are renowned for the quality of our health programmes, so it is a tremendous honour to have HRH The Princess Royal visit to see first-hand the opportunities and facilities that the University of Derby has to offer and to unveil our dedicated plaque.” 

During the visit, HRH The Princess Royal met academic staff and students, who showcased skills including heart tracing and cannulation. She was also shown a number of posters created by Adult and Mental Health Nursing students, surrounding improving treatment for patients within a variety of health settings including doll therapy for patients with dementia, Huntington's disease and Motor Neurone disease.

HRH The Princess Royal also had the opportunity to see a demonstration of the Immersive Interactive Simulation Suite – a facility which provides 360° projections of a range of working environments, such as being in an ambulance or an operating theatre, offering students real-world learning opportunities.

Dr Denise Baker, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care at the University of Derby, said:

“At the University, we prepare our students to make a difference to society and our first-class facilities mean students gain the skills to provide exceptional levels of care. We were delighted to showcase this to HRH The Princess Royal and for her to meet with our inspiring staff and students.”

HRH The Princess Royal also met with a breastfeeding support group that the University hosts at its Chesterfield site through its engagement with Derbyshire Voluntary Action.

The High Sheriff of Derbyshire Theresa Peltier, Civic Chair of Derbyshire County Council Councillor David Taylor, the Mayor of Chesterfield Councillor Mick Brady and the MP for Chesterfield Toby Perkins were also in attendance at the event.

Find out more about studying in the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care at the University of Derby.

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