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15 April 2020

Helping to train NHS staff during COVID pandemic

The Chantler Simulation & Interactive Learning Centre has recently opened its doors to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital staff to assist in NHS workforce training.

Helping to train NHS staff

The Chantler Simulation & Interactive Learning (SaIL) Centre in Shepherd’s House on Guy’s Campus is an interprofessional undergraduate and postgraduate facility that provides clinical classrooms, hospital and community care settings. The Centre uses state of the art audio-visual and electronic equipment, including computerised manikins, ensuring feedback, evaluation and analysis of sessions can be readily carried out.

Since being closed to students, the Centre has been hosting critical care training for registered nurses, who are already part of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) workforce and are upgrading their skills.

I’m proud that we can offer a vital service to help train up the NHS workforce and build capacity to support this crisis. We’ve had to adapt our practices very quickly to work in the new circumstances and have implemented training approaches that recognise the heightened requirements for infection control and social distancing.

Catherine Tann, Chantler SaIL Centre Manager

The training, which is available seven days a week for up to 140 members of NHS staff per day, is run by teaching faculty at the hospital. This is supported by specialist technicians from the Chantler SaIL Centre and GSTT, five of which volunteered to come to the Centre and help as and when required.

It’s nothing compared to staff on the front line of course, but it is a realisation that I’m not invincible. Something I think is very important is recognising the people who are currently on campus (security, cleaning and postroom staff) are supporting the running of operations and putting their own health and safety (as well as their loves ones) at risk. Without their help, the Centre would have to close, so I hope they know they’re really appreciated and take gratification in knowing the work they do is very important.

Paul Dudley, Chantler SaIL Centre Technical Manager

The team have created training videos to teach NHS staff how to respond to common scenarios that they might encounter and how to adapt their knowledge and skills to work with COVID-19 patients. This includes correctly donning and removing the PPE and alternative ways to check for symptoms that reduce close personal contact.

Training is key in ensuring we can re-deploy staff to help treat patients in COVID critical areas and King’s has helped in allowing us full use of training facilities during this time. In three weeks we have trained over 1,100 clinical staff across GSTT and this volume wouldn’t be possible without spaces from King’s.

Igor Tanjga, GSTT Medical Education Service Manager

The Centre will continue to offer these services until it is needed once again for King’s students when they are able to return to campus.

It’s great to be able to help and do something constructive.

Catherine Tann, Chantler SaIL Centre Manager