South Tees Hospital launches immersive VR training pilot

South Tees Hospital NHS FT has launched a new pilot, providing immersive simulation and virtual reality experiences designed to support trainee nurses with their training.   

The 12-week programme, funded in part through the Northern Enabling Effective Learning Environments team and Health Education England, is providing nurses with simulation equipment to gain virtual practical working experience in real life hospital ward environments and scenarios.  

Using a combination of teaching and assessment methods and strategies, the nurses using the equipment at James Cook University Hospital will learn to apply evidence-based practice to clinical settings.   

South Tees states the programme will provide placements for up to 20 student nurses at a time delivered over six two-week blocks, where staff will be encouraged to ‘problem-solve’ to develop decision making skills and demonstrate effective leadership.  

Lindsay Felgate, Practice Placement Facilitator for Virtual Learning, commented: “The new pilot programme will enable South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to develop high quality learning experiences. We aim to prepare a future NHS workforce who are highly skilled, innovative in their approach and equipped to practice safely and effectively, ensuring patient safety is paramount.”  

In other virtual reality-related news, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust has launched augmented reality and virtual reality applications to support people experiencing needle phobia and anxiety, and a clinical trial into the provision of psychological therapy using virtual reality across nine NHS trusts has highlighted ‘breakthrough success’.

Also, North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare and University Hospitals of North Midlands have launched a new virtual reality  film designed to help staff and other healthcare professionals understand the effects of patients suffering from delirium.