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Activate Learning opens new immersive teaching space to train the next generation of nurses and care workers

25 February 2020

Activate Learning is excited to be opening its new half a million-pound Care Skills Suite at Reading College.

Contributions towards the Care Skills Suite include funding of £430,000 from Thames Valley Berkshire LEP’s Local Growth Fund, was designed in partnership with Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust. 

The facility will provide learners with opportunities to practise and refine the skills they need to make them ready for life in the workplace, within an immersive learning environment designed to simulate those they would encounter on a hospital ward or care setting.

The benefits of the new facilities for our learners

Salwa Boon, Director of Curriculum Design within Activate Learning’s Academic and Professional Studies (APS) faculty, said the new learning environment would provide an enhanced learning experience for students.

She added: “We have worked hard with a number of NHS Trusts across our region to provide real-life, work placements for students within real care settings and this is invaluable to our learners.

“With the addition of this new state-of-the-art Care Skills Suite, our students at Reading College will be able to take what they are learning within real-life care settings and develop their skills further.

“This development is part of our wider strategy to engage with local employers and identify the areas where there are skills gaps within the workforce and provide the training and education that will support the workforce of such a vital public service for years to come.” 

Helping to meet Berkshire’s health and social care challenges of the future

Katharine Horler, Chair of the Skills, Education & Employment Strategy Group added: “We are delighted to be investing in the Care Skills Suite and look forward to this high-quality facility ensuring Berkshire benefits from the skills and innovation injection it requires to meet the health and care challenges of the future.

“The new suite is of great value to not only engage with young people about the health and social care sector, but to the wider healthcare economy.”

What does the new Care Skills Suite offer to learners?

The outstanding facilities within the Care Suite include:

  • Reception Area 
  • Care Ward
  • Immersive Space
  • Skills Room

The Care Ward, with its simulated mannequins, mirrors a real-life hospital ward, helps students to learn clinical and care skills in a safe but realistic way. The state-of-the-art facility offers learners the opportunity to practice basic and advanced observational skills, first aid, emergency care, drug administration and wound dressing. Each of the 4 beds is monitored via plasma screens and has allocated IT diagnostic equipment which allows more advanced learners the opportunity to practice their skills independently.

The Skills Room has a unique collection of 3D anatomy models and IT facilities that will enhance teaching and encourages research skills and self-study. 

The Immersive Space transforms an ordinary classroom into an exciting and engaging learning environment. Learners will be able to interact, collaborate and engage in complex situations. The facility allows teachers to connect with learners in a way that would not be possible through a traditional learning environment.

The Care Suite will help to prepare students for the new T Levels technical qualifications. Learners studying T Level qualifications in 2021 will be able to develop their occupational skills which gives them a head-start in their careers.