COMMENT: Giving next generation an insight into life in the NHS
With an ageing population and concerns over staff shortages in the NHS, it's vital that we do all we can to help train the nurses and carers of the future.
So it's great to report today that new £1m facilities, including a mock ward, will enable Havant and South Downs College (HSDC) to give the next generation of health workers a genuine insight into life in the NHS.
The innovative new facilities at its Waterlooville campus also include three laboratories, an IT room and a mocked-up apartment to practice home visits, meaning that training will be realistic.
In addition there are patient simulators that allow students to monitor symptoms and conditions and decide on the appropriate treatment.
But it's not just about learning in a classroom environment.
Pupils will be offered work placements with local employers, such as Solent NHS Trust or Colten Care.
The college is also working with local NHS trusts to train students to specifically fill known skills gaps.
By the end of their courses, they will be well-prepared to either enter the NHS, the private care sector or continue their studies.
As Emily Pease, a former nurse and HSDC's programme leader for health and science, says: ‘We’re not just delivering things from a book, we can really bring it to life.’
This has to be the way forward, showing students what a career in the NHS is really like.
It may not be perfect, but our healthcare system is still hugely admired around the world.
To ensure its survival, we have to make sure it is adequately staffed by the right people in the future.
We applaud HSDC for the part it’s playing in ensuring that happens.