New science and health building opens at Coventry University

The £59m facility features hospital wards, an ambulance, operating theatre and running track, giving students an exact replica of career environments

Coventry University’s new Science and Health Building allows students to train to care for a patient at every stage of their medical experience: paramedics arriving at their home; their subsequent ambulance journey; their stay in hospital; and discharge and rehabilitation.

The facility, project managed by AECOM, incorporates two fully furnished terraced houses. One is fitted with top-of-the-range assistive technology, such as adjustable kitchen units and a shower that can be controlled by an iPad remotely. The houses aim to give students realistic experiences of working within patients’ homes and are equipped with augmented reality technologies to help them learn from different scenarios.

The building is not only about training for those on healthcare courses, but brings all of Coventry University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences’ practical facilities under one roof for the first time, including professional standard laboratories and Olympic-grade fitness and sports research areas.

A laboratory, called Lab+, is an industry-grade education-based lab able to host more than 250 students at once. Sports research and teaching facilities include an environmental chamber that can simulate the altitude of Mount Everest, a running track, biomechanics area and 3D motion capture camera equipment. There is also a sports therapy clinic which is open to the public.

Professor Guy Daly, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Health and Life Sciences at Coventry University, said: “It is absolutely crucial that we prepare our students for the challenges and situations they will face in their future careers. By investing in such incredible facilities as this we are ensuring they are one step ahead when they go out into the world of work. 

“Whether they are paramedics who have learnt to ventilate a patient while in our state-of-the-art ambulance, occupational therapists who have practised supporting a person returning home from hospital in our community houses, or sports therapists who have treated a member of the public for a running injury, they will have experienced real-life situations within the safety of the university. 

“This building is for the whole community and will have a lasting legacy for the city, region and further afield. The research being carried out here has the potential to change lives and the healthcare workers trained here will save lives. We hope it will inspire, while bringing learning to life.”  

The city centre building will be used for teaching undergraduates, postgraduates and research, as well as playing an important role in the community. Some of the facilities will host elite athletes for training, community groups and public events, as well as giving school children a chance to experience university life.

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