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New ITS Skills Suite opens at Tameside Hospital

A new state-of-the-art facility has been opened at Tameside Hospital to help train clinical teams to look after patients in their own homes.

The new unit provides simulated learning for all community and Intermediate Tier Service (ITS) staff to gain vital experience and enhance their skills in a range of settings they are likely to encounter while helping patients at home and in a community environment.

Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Ashton-based hospital, says the investment in the facility is part of its ambition to provide care closer to home for the benefit of patients and their families. 

Grace Wall, Divisional Director of Intermediate Tier Services, said: “The skill set required to treat people in their own homes is different to that of a hospital ward. The skills suite has been specifically designed for community services, mimicking a home environment. It provides a safe learning space using state of the art equipment to help increase staff knowledge and skills which will help in improving patient outcomes at home.

"Our community teams are dedicated to continuing to provide outstanding community services and I am pleased that we can recognise this by investing in their future development.”

The Skills Suite includes lifelike manikins for all aspects of nursing and patient care, specialised equipment such as age simulation suites which enables the wearer to experience a simulated reality of impairments to the sensorimotor skills experienced with age and some disease processes such as joint restriction and disease of the eyes.

Karen James OBE, Trust Chief Executive, said: “This is a great opportunity for our staff to improve their skills so that they can continue to provide outstanding care for our patients. The new skills suite has been designed to provide a realistic learning environment for all our community and ITS staff. It has been partnered with high quality equipment which allows the Trust to continue to provide high standards of care even when away from the hospital and in patients’ own homes.”

The ITS Skills Suite will be used for a number of different training programmes including Adult Basic Life Support (ABLS), Paediatric Basic Life Support (PBLS), tracheostomy care, cannulation, central line care, and moving and handling training.

The Skills Suite, designed specifically to mimic community settings, is also planned to open to other services such as GPs and care homes in the locally.

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