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08 March 2022

The Princess Royal opens clinical simulation teaching ward

Her Royal Highness toured the Chantler Simulation & Interactive Learning Centre at King's Guy’s Campus.

Princess Anne with group of students and staff standing over a table with a clinical simulation prosthetic arm
The Princess Royal with Adult Nursing students Naomi Adams and Natasha Richards, Teaching Fellow Anya Benton, sign language interpreter Nicola Adams and Catherine Tann, Head of Simulation Operations explaining simulated venepuncture and canulation using a prosthetic arm.

Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University of London visited the Chantler Simulation & Interactive Learning Centre at Guy’s Campus earlier this month. She officially opened a new teaching ward and toured facilities used to train the next generation of healthcare professionals.

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 alongside simulated hospital and community care settings. Over 6,000 students use the facility during the year, including those studying nursing, medicine and midwifery. The Centre uses state of the art audio-visual and electronic equipment, including computerised manikins, ensuring feedback, evaluation and analysis of teaching sessions can be readily carried out.

During the visit the Kofoworola Ward, a new part of the Centre named after the first black nurse in the NHS, was officially opened by Her Royal Highness. An alumna of the Nightingale Training School for Nurses at St Thomas’ Hospital, which later amalgamated into the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care at King’s, Kofoworola Abeni Pratt was a pioneer of nursing in post-independence Nigeria.

Her Royal Highness met adult nursing students, Naomi Adams and Natasha Richards, and Teaching Fellow, Anya Benton in the Kofoworola Ward. They explained how they learn venepuncture and canulation using a prosthetic arm while Maya Momi, a child nursing student and Lecturer, Laura Gilmore, demonstrated the high-fidelity infant manikin with Senior Centre Technician, Courtney Woolgar. Medical Students, Amala Okeke and Derrick Fernando, discussed their experiences as medical students alongside Dr Jane Valentine, Co-Director of the Extended Medical Degree Programme.

Accompanying The Princess Royal were Professor Wendy Thomson, Vice Chancellor, University of London; Colonel Simon Duckworth, Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London; Professor Shitij Kapur, President & Principal of King’s; Professor Richard Trembath, Senior Vice President for Life Sciences & Health and Executive Director of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Science Centre; Professor Irene Higginson, Executive Dean, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care; Professor Ajay Shah, Executive Dean Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine; and Catherine Tann, Head of Simulation Operations at King’s College London.

It was an honour to showcase the Chantler Simulation & Interactive Learning Centre to Her Royal Highness and to introduce her to our students and staff. These cutting-edge facilities create opportunities for our students to put their learning into practice by simulating the experiences that they will have not only in clinical settings, but also within the community.

Professor Shitij Kapur, President & Principal

We were delighted to receive Her Royal Highness at the Chantler Centre to show her our interactive teaching facilities and demonstrate how they benefit our students. King’s has a fantastic team of dedicated and enthusiastic staff in the field of simulation learning who are working hard to develop the best learning environment for our students and attract the brightest minds to King’s.

Catherine Tann, Head of Simulation Operations

The Chantler Simulation & Interactive Learning Centre features a two-bay simulation ward where students work in small groups with patient manikins that are controlled by a technician in an adjoining room. These advanced manikins are full body simulators with accurate anatomy and functionality, which facilitate multi-professional training. Sahed Ahmed, a third-year medical student and staff members Paul Dudley, Technical Manager and Colin Butchers, Simulation Lead in the School of Medicine, explained to Her Royal Highness how they learn and teach in the suite using this technology.

Child nursing students, Kofi Morris Heather and Marian Okyere-Darkoh, along with Lecturer Jennifer Kalitsi, also spoke to Her Royal Highness about how the Centre’s Home Environment space simulates community visits to help students recognise the different ways to make a home environment safer.

The Princess Royal’s visit comes almost two years after it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the Kofoworola Ward has been in action with the rest of the Centre providing simulated learning resources to students and healthcare professionals throughout the pandemic.

During the first national lockdown in March 2020 the Centre closed to students but remained open so NHS nurses could receive rapid critical care training. The Centre kept operating through subsequent lockdowns, with adjustments to keep people safe, so that nursing and midwifery students could continue the clinical skills learning vital to them when they are on practice placements.

‘We’re enormously proud of our simulation centres at King’s and the people who work here,’ Catherine says. ‘We use this space to ensure students get exposure to high-risk situations that they might not get on their placement, but which they need to be prepared for. For example, using a deteriorating patient scenario with one of our mannikins, students learn what happens and how to react in a safe learning environment rather than experiencing it for the first time in practice. The technology we have here at King’s ensures our students and educators can achieve the best outcomes on their programmes and receive unique preparation for their careers as health professionals.’

You can find out more about the role simulation plays across different disciplines on our Centre for Team-Based Practice & Learning Healthcare webpages.

In this story

Shitij Kapur

Vice-Chancellor & President of King's College London

Richard Trembath

Senior Vice President (Health & Life Sciences) and Executive Director of King’s Health Partners

Irene Higginson

Executive Dean, Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care

Ajay Shah

Executive Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine

Colin Butchers

Head of Clinical Skills, Simulation & Interprofessional Education

Teaching Fellow