Central Middlesex Hospital opens new ultrasound training academy with ScanTrainer

The London North West Healthcare NHS Trust (LNWH) has chosen ScanTrainer for its new state-of-the-art Ultrasound Training Academy at Central Middlesex Hospital. The new education centre has been designed to ease growing ultrasound training pressures and clinical demands across the Trust and beyond.

Faced with a looming 24/7 NHS, the imminent rise in demand for diagnostic ultrasound skills and limited clinical training availability, the Trust was faced with added pressures on its existing ultrasound services and an increasing need to upskill its workforce. In 2017, the Trust, led by Central Middlesex Hospital’s Radiology Department, embarked on a project to create an ultrasound training academy that could help ease the pressures.

The team sought to find an ultrasound training platform that could support the project’s objectives to make ultrasound training more accessible to those embarking on learning ultrasound for the first time, as well as those wanting to improve their ultrasound skills.

Following an assessment of the ultrasound simulation market, the Trust chose ScanTrainer Transvaginal Simulator (TVS) and ScanTrainer Transabdominal Simulator (TAS). Tanuja Khiroya, Clinical Lead Radiology & Medical Physics, at Central Middlesex Hospital, who pioneered and led the project, explains:

“ScanTrainer offers structured curriculum-based lessons and extensive learning content that is integrated into the system which allows students to self-learn at their pace and in their own time. Coupled with the realistic patient feel that the haptic provided we could see straight away that the simulator would be a great teaching tool for busy trainees who require a lot of practice time.”

Now, with two dedicated examination rooms and a simulation suite, the Centre, in academic partnership with neighbouring City University (a ScanTrainer user of several years), is the central hub for ultrasound training. Ms. Khiroya explains how ScanTrainer is transforming ultrasound education:

“Historically ultrasound trainees would have completed the bulk of their learning in the clinic or by using textbooks. ScanTrainer represents a step-change in training by enabling clinicians to learn independently in a patient-safe environment before practising on patients. This ensures that trainees are not only acquiring skills faster but are well equipped and confident when it comes to scanning real patients for the first time.”

The Academy is also helping other NHS organisations across the London and ultrasound trainees from multiple hospitals in the region are benefitting from using its education services. LNWH Trust Chief Executive Dame Jacqueline Docherty said:

“The Ultrasound Training Academy provides us with the opportunity to not only train our own radiographers, who wish to progress to advance practitioner roles, but also our colleagues from across the sector in a real demonstration of partnership working.”

Although initially focusing on training radiographers and radiology registrars, looking to the future, Ms. Khiroya envisages the Academy’s services will extend further to help upskill staff in other medical specialties too, she concludes:

“The ultrasound skills shortage is a huge issue affecting many hospitals throughout the UK and globally. In time I hope that we can extend the Academy’s remit to help those working in emergency medicine departments and labour wards too.”

ScanTrainer represents a step-change in training by enabling clinicians to learn independently in a patient-safe environment before practising on patients.

Tanuja Khiroya
Clinical Lead Radiology & Medical Physics, Central Middlesex Hospital, London