Hi-tech upgrade helps University support NHS plans for sustainable workforce

26 March 2024

New cutting-edge imaging equipment at the University of Derby is helping future health professionals develop their skills and support plans to grow the NHS workforce and reduce waiting times.

Supported by the Midlands Imaging Training Academy (MITA) NHS England, the University has installed new equipment to upgrade its teaching facilities, creating some of the most advanced ultrasound teaching resources in the country.

The equipment, in the University’s Immersive Simulation Suite at its Kedleston Road site, will be used by students on the MSc Medical Ultrasound, BSc Diagnostic Radiography and undergraduate and postgraduate Midwifery courses.

Provided by the University’s industry partner Intelligent Ultrasound, the upgraded facility features ScanTrainer self-directed haptic simulators to provide real-time feedback to the students. There are also two BodyWorks Eve manikins – ultra-realistic female patient simulators that can be adapted to replicate a range of conditions and pathologies.

Two people looking at diagnostic images on a computer screen
A student demonstrates some of the new equipment

These additions complement the hi-tech equipment already on offer in the University’s Clinical Skills Suite, designed to prepare students for practice placements by developing their skills and confidence in simulated scenarios.

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

“The upgraded facilities will bring significant benefits to our students and existing practitioners, enabling them to develop and refine their imaging skills. The University of Derby is committed to supporting the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan and supporting patients to access the diagnostic services they need as quickly as possible. The state-of-the-art facilities we have at the University of Derby are an amazing resource, and we are grateful to NHS England for their continuing support of our imaging suite, which goes from strength to strength.”

Tom Kirkbride, joint Director for Workforce Training and Education, NHS England (Midlands), said:

“This support is an example of how we are investing in services as part of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, to reform the way our healthcare learners progress, using fit-for-purpose digital technology to allow them to focus on patient care.

“As part of the Midlands Imaging Training Academy we expect it to have a positive impact on learners, using inclusive simulation equipment and supporting the plan to increase the numbers of imaging clinicians entering the healthcare workforce. This is directly linked to the vision to create a sustainable workforce and over time, lead to waiting lists being cut.”

Intelligent Ultrasound’s Wendy Egan commented:

“We have been working with the University of Derby for over nine years; it’s great to see them advance with us along this technology path and embrace the new and exciting features we have developed during this time.”

Find out more about studying MSc Medical Ultrasound, Nursing or BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography at the University of Derby.

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