Putting health at the heart of Hull

Boasting simulated operating theatre, hospital ward and intensive care unit, Hull Uni's £28m Health Campus gets royal approval as it opens to students

Addressing critical healthcare challenges such as the shortage of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers across the region, the Allam Medical Building, the heart of the University of Hull’s new Health Campus, will play a pivotal role in attracting and developing students who will shape the healthcare workforce of the future.

The campus is home to the Faculty of Health Sciences, which includes the Hull York Medical School, School of Health and Social Work and the School of Life Sciences. 

Courses available in a range of health-related subjects include midwifery, nursing, operating department practice, psychology, sports, health and exercise science, biomedical science, social work, and medicine.

Attracting academics 

The investment aims to increase the University’s capacity to deliver life-changing research by attracting academic expertise from across the UK and further afield.

“Our ambition is to create new models of working, and by providing the clinical skills areas and facilities that enable doctors, nurses, midwives and other healthcare workers to train together, we are moving closer to building the cohesive workforce required by the NHS to deliver the highest standard of healthcare in the region,” said Professor Julie Jomeen, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Hull.

Royal visit 

In November, Her Majesty The Queen opened the Allam Medical Building. Her Majesty was given a tour of the new Allam Medical Building, which has been designed to attract and develop the students and staff who will shape the healthcare workforce of the future.

“The Allam Medical Building will transform the way we teach the next generation of health professionals, giving them the very best opportunities and training to deliver the healthcare of the future, and enhancing their student experience considerably,” added Professor Jomeen.

During Her Majesty’s visit, staff and students demonstrated the impressive facilities of the building, and how the nurses, midwives, operating department practitioners and doctors of the future will all be able to work together, ultimately providing the skills and the cohesive approach which is at a premium in the NHS.

Sharon Land, a third-year adult nursing student, said: “The way we can learn the essential clinical skills in this building is amazing. I first heard the sound of an emergency buzzer – which indicates a patient is going into cardiac arrest – when I was on my nursing placement. On the simulated ward, here at the University, first-year students now hear that in their first week. They can react, learn and become confident in their ability to deal with this situation – in a safe and nurturing environment. They will then be confident out on the wards – when it really matters.”

Professor Susan Lea, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull, remarked: “It was a great honour to welcome Her Majesty The Queen to the University to celebrate this significant milestone in the University’s journey and the contribution that the Allam Medical Building, its staff and students will make to the health of the region.

“As nurses, doctors, midwives, operating theatre technicians and other clinicians dedicated to healthcare in this region, our graduates and staff are focused on providing the best possible care in our hospitals and out in the community. Our investment in the Allam Medical Building will also extend our impact on the region’s health through the pioneering research that will take place at its heart.” 

Neonatal and paediatric suite

A neonatal and paediatric suite, part of the new clinical skills unit at the University, will provide some of the best medical training facilities in the country – thanks to a significant grant from a charitable foundation.

The facilities, which are being funded in part by the generous grant from the Garfield Weston Foundation, form part of the Allam Medical Building which is at the heart of the University’s new state-of-the-art £28m health campus.

The building will provide specialised training in real-life settings including a mock hospital ward, operating theatre and intensive care nursing facilities.

The Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded, charitable grant-making foundation, which supports a wide range of causes across the UK, donating over £60m annually. 

Initially the neonatal and paediatric skills rooms will be predominantly used by nursing and midwifery students from the School of Health and Social Work.

The neonatal and paediatric part of the clinical skills unit will include 10 clinical skills rooms and facilities where students will learn how to work with patients and to use specialist training equipment in clinical settings. For example, birthing simulators worn by the teaching staff or other students will promote verbal, non-verbal and physical interactions and skills development.

NHS England’s Maternity Transformation Programme10 requires a responsive and flexible education system to support significant changes to the maternity workforce. The review states that those ‘who work together, will be expected to train together’ and that multi-professional working should be an integral part of pre-registration training. High-quality education, inclusive partnership working and first-class facilities, like the University’s Clinical Skills Unit, will serve to meet these requirements.

The School of Health and Social Work will provide continuing professional development programmes in Perinatal Mental Health. The co-location of the Wolfson Centre for Palliative Care Research in the Allam Medical Building will bring additional expertise. It will provide research and best-practice in pre-bereavement and bereavement support for families with babies in neonatal ICU, the psychological health of women with ill and dying babies as well as the socio-economic impact.