The UCH Education Centre

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Learning Hospital named in honour of past Chairman

Former chairman Sir Ronald Mason returned to UCLH for the official opening of the Trust’s innovative learning hospital – named in his honour.

Sir Liam Donaldson & Sir Ronald Mason

The plaque unveilings at the Education Centre were an opportunity for colleagues and guests to celebrate its achievements so far. He was joined by Sir Liam Donaldson, former NHS chief medical officer, who performed the official opening.

Professor Aidan Halligan, Director of Education at UCLH, said the Sir Ronald Mason Learning Hospital was “well ahead of its time” with its focus on changing behaviours through real-life simulation exercises and After Action Reviews.

He thanked chief executive Sir Robert Naylor for his “vision, tenacity and passion” which ensured the Education Centre plans had come to fruition; Professor David Fish for “his inspiration during difficult times”; medical director Professor Tony Mundy and Rob Doel, General Manager for their invaluable support.

Professor Halligan also extended a very special thank you to the Trustees at UCLH Charity. Under the chairmanship of Sir Ronald Mason, it was they who provided the initial capital to develop the Education Centre and continuing revenue support.

UCLH – Patient Safety Awards 2011 Finalists

UCLH was amongst the finalists at a prestigious award ceremony celebrating the best patient safety projects across the NHS.


The Trust was nominated for three awards at the Health Service Journal Patient Safety Awards 2011 which were held 23rd March 2011.

The three categories were:

Changing Culture – the multi-disciplinary team from Theatres and the UCH Education Centre were nominated for implementing the World Health Organization (WHO) Surgical Safety Checklist across all Trust operating theatres.

Each theatre team attends a half day simulation in the Education Centre which focuses on team working, good communication and empowerment of all team members.  UCLH was determined to make  the introduction of the checklist more than just ‘an extra form to complete’.  Data collected has shown very positive benefits of the programme for both patients and staff.

Patient Safety in Surgery – the WHO Surgical Checklist programme was short-listed in this category as a result of the positive impact on patient related incidents.

Patient Safety in Maternity Care – The Women’s Health Education team was shortlisted in this category for their simulation training programme designed to address the risks and treatment of postpartum haemorrhage. Again, this was more than purely ‘skills and drills’, as it comprised multidisciplinary simulation scenarios with feedback and a focus on human factors.

The unique aspect of this programme was the use of an assessment tool which enabled understanding and confidence to be measured for individuals and teams, used before and after training to measure the level of improvement.

Rob Doel, UCLH Deputy Director of Education, said: “These programmes were recognised because they offered solutions for addressing patient issues. They also represented the best practice of using skilled educators working with local multidisciplinary staff members to create interesting, innovative and effective training. Congratulations to all involved on a fantastic effort and well deserved recognition in these prestigious national awards.”

Top Training at UCLH

The Trust has won an award for its innovative staff training – recognised as among the best on offer in the capital.

UCLH won first prize in a London Deanery Annual competition to promote “excellence in education”, after its After Action Review and WHO Safe Surgery Checklist programmes were singled out for praise.

The Learning Hospital – which includes “mock” hospital wards and an operating theatre at the UCH Education Centre – provides an ideal environment for staff to reflect on their actions and behaviour during life-like, simulated scenarios.

The awards were hosted by STeLI, a flagship project of the London Deanery and the NHS London’s ‘Excellence in Education’ strategy.

Judy Walker, the education lead for the Trust’s After Action Review programme, said: “The competition was tough and we were up against some  other major league players. This award recognises the excellent collaboration with senior clinical staff – led by Professor Aidan Halligan – and the quality of the experiential simulation model the education team have developed.”

The training programme proved particularly useful when the Theatres leadership team introduced the World Health Organisation’s Surgical Safety Checklist, which helps improve patient safety by encouraging theatre staff to use pre-briefing and debriefing routinely and raise any concerns they might have about a surgical procedure.

Judy added: “Simulation exercises are resulting in a real shift in behaviour which is directly linked to improved patient safety and care. It helps embed checklists and guidelines within team behaviour and enables our staff to learn at a deep level and to gain confidence in speaking out to prevent problems developing”.

Around 1,300 trust and other NHS staff have already benefited from simulation training and After Action Review programmes.

The awards aim to promote excellence and innovation in education, focusing on novel approaches using simulation and latest technology.

A panel of judges described the UCLH training programme as “truly innovative and of the highest quality”.


The winning team (l to r): Sarah Chievely-Williams, consultant anaesthetist; Steve Andrews, director of programmes; Viki Mitchell, consultant anaesthetist; Judy Walker, education programme lead; Yogi Amin, consultant anaesthetist

World Health Organisation (WHO) CHECKLIST

The UCH Education Centre has launched a new safety programme to support the implementation of the World Health Organisation (WHO) checklist in operating theatres. It involves theatre teams simulating the use of the checklist.

The checklist is part of a major drive to make surgery safer and aims to reduce the risk of avoidable complications and deaths as a result of surgery.

The checklist identifies three main phases of operation, each corresponding to a specific period in the normal flow of work: before the induction of anaesthesia (“sign in”), before the incision of the skin (“time out”) and before the patient leaves the operating room (“sign out”).

In each phase a checklist coordinator must confirm that the surgical team has completed the listed task before it proceeds with the operation.

The “sign in” phase, guarantees the coordinator has checked whether the surgical site on the patients body was properly marked and whether the patients known allergies were checked.
The “sign out” phase, guarantees instruments, sponges and needles have been counted to check that none of these is accidentally left behind in the patient’s body.

On the 1st September 2009 a team from UCLH theatres used the simulation theatre to pilot the WHO checklist course which will be rolled out Trust wide as mandatory training.

It is essential that simulations are as realistic as possible and the involvement of the full team is required to achieve this. Successful implementation is about creating the right attitudes and behaviours within the team.
Simulated learning allows this to be developed in a safe and realistic environment.

For more information please contact Loxley Matthews on 020 7380 9113 or email

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