Staffordshire University has broken ground on its brand new innovation centre.
The ground-breaking ceremony marks the beginning of a 12-month construction project, which will include the development of advanced digital simulation and clinical immersion suites.
The facilities aim to support healthcare professionals in exploring and developing new techniques in collaboration with the institution’s staff and students; and contribute to the long-term sustainability of the NHS by delivering an additional 500 skilled nurses, midwives and allied health professionals every year.
Andrew Proctor, pro vice-chancellor – digital, said: “These exciting new facilities will enable existing and future healthcare professionals to fully immerse themselves in the world of digital healthcare, helping them to develop novel digital skills and advanced clinical techniques.
“We are delighted to be able to support our region through this state-of-the-art hub for healthcare skills, innovation and research and development. We believe that our Centre for Health Innovation will make a valuable contribution to the continued transformation and modernisation of the national healthcare workforce for years to come.”
The building is being constructed at the university’s Centre of Excellence in Healthcare Education, in Stafford, as part of a £23.7 million investment made available under the Government’s Getting Building Fund to the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SSLEP).
Alun Rogers, chair of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP said: “We are delighted to partner with Staffordshire University around the Health Innovation Centre. As an anchor university, they will use innovative physical and digital capabilities to accelerate the transformation of the UK’s health workforce.
“This ground-breaking approach will enhance the digital capability in the healthcare workforce and help to position Staffordshire and the UK at the forefront of patient safety.”
Alun added: “This is just part of the wider programme of SSLEP Getting Building projects that aims to support the creation and safeguard of over 3,000 jobs, unlock over 117,000sqm of commercial, research and development (R&D) and learning floorspace and support over 1,150 learners in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
“It’s about supporting the Government to build back better, build back greener and build back faster. Our Getting Building Fund projects will contribute significantly to our Local Industrial Strategy, encouraging our local economy’s recovery and ultimate growth.”
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Once complete, the facility will enable the teaching of advanced clinical techniques, as well as other skills necessary to support the future needs of the healthcare sector.
The Centre for Health Innovation is expected to complete in Autumn 2021.