THE CHIEF nurse for England opened a new nursing simulation suite at a Southampton university yesterday.

Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, chief nurse for Health Education England, came to Solent University to open the new six-bed nursing simulation ward, care home and doctor’s surgery, which is part of the university's £100 million campus improvement plan.

The facility gives nursing students and apprentices the opportunity to develop and refine their clinical skills, as well as support their developing knowledge of physiological and pharmacology.

It also supports the university’s growing portfolio of nursing degrees and apprenticeships.

Lisa Bayliss-Pratt said: "I’m really excited by the simulation suite because patient safety has to come first. We should deliver a lot more of our education and training in a formative, simulated way so that when we do engage with patients and people within communities, we are properly prepared, we know where our competencies lie and we can deliver safe and effective care."

She added about the university: "The fundamentals that have been demonstrated to me today, providing a warm and friendly welcome and having a really nice environment that makes people feel comfortable, shows me that they are off to a fantastic start within nursing and health careers here at Solent."

Professor Graham Baldwin, Solent University’s Vice-Chancellor, said: "It’s great to see this area grow at Solent - from the original FdSc in Health and Social care to the introduction of our nursing associate degree apprenticeships, apprenticeships, a BSc in Adult Nursing, and a mental health nursing course in the very near future.

"At some point in our lives we will all come into contact with the nursing profession, which highlights its important for society, the university and us as individuals. Here at Solent, we want to play our part in producing the nurses of the future and making sure that we can continue with the fantastic success that is the NHS."