Located at the institution's Centre of Excellence in Healthcare Education, on Blackheath Lane, the facility features cutting-edge clinical simulation suites which will be used to upskill existing healthcare professionals and train future generations of NHS employee.
Professor Liz Barnes CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, and Andrew Proctor, Pro Vice-Chancellor – Digital, were joined at the ceremony by a host of key stakeholders including representatives from the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP and the project’s main contractor, Pave Aways.
The ground-breaking ceremony marks the beginning of a 12-month construction project, which will comprise the development of advanced digital simulation and clinical immersion suites at the University’s Centre of Excellence in Stafford. The facilities will support healthcare professionals in exploring and developing new techniques in collaboration with the institution’s staff and students.
Andrew Proctor, Pro Vice-Chancellor – Digital, said: “These exciting new facilities will enable existing and future healthcare professionals to fully immerse themselves in the world of digital healthcare, helping them to develop novel digital skills and advanced clinical techniques.
“We are delighted to be able to support our region through this state-of-the-art hub for healthcare skills, innovation and research and development. We believe that our Centre for Health Innovation will make a valuable contribution to the continued transformation and modernisation of the national healthcare workforce for years to come.”
Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall MP said: “The Centre for Health Innovation will be instrumental in protecting the future of our NHS, supporting 500 healthcare professionals a year through their studies.A £2.89 million Getting Building Fund investment has helped to kickstart this project, which will see Stafford become a national hub of clinical training."
“Teaching advanced clinical techniques with their world beating technology will help Staffordshire University to support the needs of the NHS for years to come.”
Alun Rogers, Chair of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership said: ‘’We are delighted to partner with Staffordshire University around the Health Innovation Centre. As an anchor university, they will use innovative physical and digital capabilities to accelerate the transformation of the UK’s health workforce. This ground-breaking approach will enhance the digital capability in the healthcare workforce and help to position Staffordshire and the UK at the forefront of patient safety."
"This is just part of the wider programme of SSLEP Getting Building projects that aims to support the creation and safeguard of over 3,000 jobs, unlock over 117,000sqm of commercial, R+D and learning floorspace and support over 1,150 learners in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. It’s about supporting the Government to build back better, build back greener and build back faster our Getting Building Fund projects will contribute significantly to our Local Industrial Strategy, encouraging our local economy’s recovery and ultimate growth.”
Commencement of the project follows a successful application as part of the UK Government’s £900 million ‘Getting Building Fund’, which aims to deliver jobs, skills and infrastructure to key locations across the country. The Centre for Health Innovation secured £2.89 million of backing from the fund through Stoke Staffs LEP, as one of 11 shovel-ready projects across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.
Once complete, the facility will enable the teaching of advanced clinical techniques, as well as other skills necessary to support the future needs of the healthcare sector. The centre aims to contribute to the long-term sustainability of the NHS and the modernisation of its workforce, delivering an additional 500 skilled nurses, midwives and allied health professionals every year.
Part of Staffordshire University’s ongoing transformation activities and wider campus masterplan, the Centre for Health Innovation is expected to complete in Autumn 2021. The Catalyst, a £40 million connected regional hub for digital skills and apprenticeships located on the University’s Stoke-on-Trent campus, is also due to complete next year.