THE birth of a new midwifery training centre in Portsmouth was celebrated as it officially opened its doors to students.
Students at Bournemouth University will now study at its new state-of-the-art Midwifery Training Facility at St Mary’s Health Campus, Portsmouth.
The unit was previously based on the same site in Finchdean House, but the Victorian building was dated, cramped and unable to accommodate a growing student population.
So the university was delighted when the opportunity arose to move into a refurbished part of the former St Mary’s Hospital as part of Portsmouth Primary Care Trust’s £18m project to turn it into St Mary’s Community Campus.
The new midwifery facility boasts the latest industry-standard equipment and hi-tech audio visual kit which enables students to train in a professional environment.
It also has two large lecture rooms, a computer lab, many meeting rooms and a three-bed practical skills room set up to resemble a hospital.
First year midwifery student, Trudy Nelson, 20, of Wymering Road, North End, said: ‘It’s so much better than the old building.
‘There’s much more space which means our class can come to sessions together, which wasn’t happening before.
‘And working with the hospital equipment has really helped my confidence in dealing with patients on placements because I know what to expect.’
Along with the three beds in the skills room, there is also a £7,000 birthing bed, a birthing couch, a profiling bed and a £8,500 resuscitaire, a machine for newborn babies.
Cameras are fitted inside the room so that students can be filmed for training and assessment, which they will be able to take away with them on a memory stick to review their performance.
Professor Gail Thomas, Dean of Health and Social Care and Applied Sciences at Bournemouth University, and herself a midwife, is delighted that these new facilities are available in Portsmouth.
She said: ‘It is important that all of our students have the opportunity to learn in conducive environments.
‘The developments at Portsmouth will provide our student midwives with high quality skills laboratories, lecture and seminar rooms and general learning space.
‘I’m pleased with the outcome of the hard work of the trust, the university’s estates and the school’s resources team and I’m sure the students would agree.’