A cutting-edge facility that will develop the skills of healthcare students has been launched at University of the West of Scotland.

The new state-of-the-art Pre-Hospital Simulation Centre, based at the University’s £110 million Lanarkshire campus, is a unique, adaptable space providing simulation-based education for UWS students.

To celebrate the launch of the facility and to commemorate Restart a Heart Day, students from UWS’s Paramedic Society also hosted a charity CPR-athon, giving staff and students the chance to learn key life skills with free CPR training, while supporting the British Heart Foundation’s campaign.

The facility, which will give students the opportunity to develop and practice discipline-specific skills, was officially opened by UWS’s Provost & Deputy Principal, Dr Lucy Meredith as part of an event attended by UWS staff, students and stakeholders, including the Scottish Ambulance Service, NHS Education for Scotland and the University’s partner NHS health boards.

The centre will place students involved in paramedic science, nursing, midwifery, and health and social care in realistic scenarios where they will use their assessment and clinical decision-making skills to treat patients in a controlled environment.

Julie Edgar, Dean of the School of Health and Life Sciences, said: “It is fantastic to see our new Pre-Hospital Simulation Centre officially open and I am extremely proud of our students from the Paramedic Society for using this opportunity to host a CPR-athon to support the British Heart Foundation.

“The new immersive facility uses bespoke indoor and outdoor complex scenarios to provide students with the opportunity to experience working within a multidisciplinary team, and reflect and adapt their skills and decision-making.

“Scenarios such as a crime scene or workplace environments can also be created to support our forensic science, occupational safety and health and safety students. High fidelity simulation is an important part of the learning experience, as it helps close the gap between theory and practical application.”

The new centre is the latest high-tech facility to open at the University’s award-winning Lanarkshire campus, which is also home to Scotland’s highest specification environmental chamber and its pioneering simulated nursing and midwifery teaching environments.

Commenting on the new facility, Dr Meredith said: “I am delighted to launch the University’s new Pre-Hospital Simulation Centre. It is a fantastic facility which will give our healthcare students access to cutting-edge training opportunities to enhance their clinical skills.

“At UWS, we are committed to providing our students with progressive and distinctive higher education. With access to sector-leading facilities such as these, we are truly developing our students to become universal, world-ready and successful graduates.”