• Healthcare professionals of the future to train at University Centre South Devon’s dynamic new Healthcare Sim Suite

17th December 2020

University Centre South Devon (UCSD), part of South Devon College, has opened its cutting-edge Healthcare Simulation Suite (“Sim Suite”) and announced the rebrand of its Health Professions and Nursing provision (previously Clinical Education). This is the latest announcement in South Devon College’s on-going investment in its health and science provision.

The facility includes a four-bed ward with nursing simulation manakins, a podiatry and orthotics suite and soundproof audiology booth.  The suite will use the latest technology, and ultra-realistic ward and treatment settings, to prepare students for a range of careers in frontline healthcare services. Over 100 students per year are expected to take up Healthcare Professions and Nursing courses, benefiting from hands-on experiences in the new suite.  The suite will also support the upskilling and retraining of the existing workforce to ensure they remain current with the ever-changing demands of the sector.

It is predicted that 3.2 million new healthcare jobs will be created in the next eight years[1] and non-clinical roles in particular[2] are booming. UCSD’s Health and Science curriculum design has been created with employers in mind, focusing on the specific requirements of the South West in particular, where high quality employees across the healthcare spectrum are needed.  With 51,000 jobs lost across the South West in 2020[3], the opportunity for career reskilling and rejuvenation comes at a critical time.

Principle and CEO of South Devon College, Laurence Frewin states:

“Covid-19 has shown us all just how important healthcare professionals are. Their skill and devotion have steered us through the pandemic – and it is time to return the favour. Here in South Devon, we are doing this by providing state of the art facilities for the next generation of health workers.

“We know that UCSD already supports more full-time undergraduates into full-time skilled employment than any other college in the South West, and nationwide we are placed third[4].  Innovation is at the heart of our programme creation and we are committed to providing courses which directly meet local skills gaps. Our significant investment into the Sim Suite, and continued investment in exceptional healthcare education, is part of our commitment to ensure every student has the best opportunities ahead of them.”

The new Sim Suite will help students across UCSD’s various healthcare pathways and has been designed to support an ever-developing curriculum, providing ground-breaking facilities that will support the changing needs of students and their future employers.

The Health Professions and Nursing provision will deliver a range of programmes including the FdSc Assistant Practitioner, FdSc Hearing Aid Audiology and the Leader in Adult Care Higher Apprenticeship. The programmes encompass Foundation Degrees, Higher Apprenticeships, and full Honours Degrees.  Employer collaborations include five acute trusts, Hospices, Primary Care providers, Social Enterprise initiatives and independent care homes.

Since the launch of its flagship Assistant Practitioner Foundation Degree in 2006 (a programme which has since welcomed over 500 students across Devon and Somerset), UCSD has continued to invest in healthcare, ensuring it continues to provide trailblazing educational experiences.   

It is one of just three providers (and the only one in the South West) offering Audiology qualifications and is a provider of audiology apprenticeships for Specsavers nationwide.  Additionally, UCSD is the only Further Education provider in the country to have gained Approved Education Status from the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and delivers the HCPC approved Foundation Degree (higher apprenticeship) in Hearing Aid Audiology.

Jane Hadfield, National Senior Manager of Apprenticeships at the Institute for Apprenticeships, who officially opened the Sim Suite, comments:

“It’s fantastic to see these new opportunities enabling access to quality development opportunities for talented people in the South West and wider area. These programmes really make a difference. They ensure we maximise every opportunity to secure our future workforce, support their career development, and give them the right skills to help them deliver quality, compassionate care.”

Laurence Frewin, ends:

“It is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the team, alongside our committed supporters, that this ambitious project has come so far. I cannot wait to see future generations of health professionals learn here and go on to succeed in their future careers.

“In a time when the value of healthcare is clearer than ever, this new suite puts UCSD students at a huge advantage. With this new facility, UCSD will give the healthcare practitioners of the future the best possible start on lifelong careers in healthcare.”

The programmes being offered the Healthcare Professions and Nursing provision at UCSD are:

  • Specialist Residential Nurse Award
  • Aptitude Test in Hearing Aid Dispensing
  • Leader in Adult Care
  • HNC Enhanced Care Work
  • BSc (Hons) Advanced Integrated Care
  • FdSc Hearing Aid Audiology
  • FdSc Assistant Practitioner
  • FdSc Community Health and Wellbeing

[1] Bureau of Labor Statistics

[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/hvmacarthur/2020/04/06/healthcare-jobs-are-booming-why-it-could-be-your-next-career-move/

[3] https://www.business-live.co.uk/economic-development/south-west-loses-51000-jobs-19096672

[4] HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey

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