Simulation training

We regularly Sim on the wards to make teams aware of the benefits of simulation and to practice patient care in a safe (but realistic) environment. The 'where we work' form of simulation helps to test systems, improve team-working and improve patient safety.

At our sim centres at North Devon District Hospital and the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford), we run a busy programme of multidisciplinary simulation, including regular simulation sessions and courses.


Simulation training - East

We regularly run simulations in the hospital:

  • Weekly in ED
  • Four times a month on Paediatric and neonates
  • Two times a month with orthopaedics
  • Quarterly in the hydrotherapy pool for Aquafer
  • Quarterly with the research teams
  • On the wards whenever we can
  • ITU (Intensive Therapy Unit)

How can I organise a session for my team?

To run a simulation session for your team, you will need to formulate an idea and appropriate learning points for the simulation. We can help you develop these. They may be influenced by an event or a perceived area of lack of knowledge within your team. You will also need to decide where the simulation is going to take place, eg in situ (where you work) vs the sim centre.

Each simulation session starts with a 'brief' (orientating everyone to the manikin/situation - 10 minutes), before running the simulation itself (15-20 minutes). This is followed by a debrief (30 minutes), where we discuss what happened and what can be learnt (including medical, non-technical and process issues).

We have close links to key educational teams including: medical education; resuscitation; learning and development; moving and handling; and patient safety.

If you are interested in setting up a simulation, or want to see if we can help you improve education and patient safety, please contact us on 01392 408109 or

You can also keep up to date with us on Twitter: @RDE_SIM

Our team

The members of our Core team are from varying backgrounds and are all committed to improving staff education and patient safety.

We are:

  • Dr David Bartle, Paediatric Consultant and Trust Simulation Lead
  • Ross Thompson, Human Factors and Simulation Fellow
  • Dr Elizabeth Thompson, Anaesthetic Registrar and Simulation Fellow
  • Russ Chilton, Human Factors and Simulation Practitioner

We have many others who join us for courses and sessions. We are always keen for people to observe and learn how to educate in this way. Please contact us if you are interested.


What training sessions do we run?

Regular simulation sessions in the sim centre include sessions with:

  • Foundation doctors (F1/2)
  • IM&T trainees
  • Physios on call
  • Orthopaedics
  • Physios for Tracheostomy training

Simulation courses include:

  • Neonatal step up to registrar course
  • Paediatric 'return to training' course - for those who have taken time out of training
  • Train the trainer (educating in simulation training)
  • Bespoke ward study days
  • We also aid in facilitating the following courses: difficult neonatal airway, patient transfer, novice anaesthetic, managing emergencies in paediatric anaesthesia (MEPA), medical emergency team study days, and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats)

Please contact us if you’d like more information about any of the courses above.

Simulation training in the community

We have been regularly simulating scenarios in community theatres and GP surgeries for the last year.

Through these sessions we have:

  • Improved links between community care, primary care and secondary care
  • Discovered latent threats
  • Educated and improved team-working.

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with a real-life emergency occurring at a practice soon after which the team felt more prepared for.

Simulation training - North

The North Devon Clinical Simulation Group, which includes Doctors, Nurses, Theatre Practitioners and Clinical Educators are responsible for developing and delivering clinical simulation sessions across our Northern services.

Our clinical simulation suite

simulation suite northThe control room is equipped with two computers and a server that runs the SimView system that is used for video recording and debriefing candidates after the simulation session.

There is also an audio system that allows the simulation faculty to communicate with the participants and simulation facilitator to help the candidates and keep everybody on track to accomplish the objectives that were identified for each session.

The Debrief/Observation room is where the audience can watch the scenario taking place and afterwards a structured debrief will take place to highlight positive aspects of the scenario and any learning points that can be discussed.

Our manikins

SimMan Essential

A realistic, full-body adult, wireless patient simulator, SimMan Essential offers comprehensive clinical functionality to teach the core skills of airway, breathing, cardiac and circulation management.

Offering educators realistic and engaging scenario-based simulation to challenge and evaluate critical thinking and clinical decision-making skills, SimMan Essential provides numerous educational opportunities for its users.

The wireless configuration of SimMan Essential makes it possible to move quickly to wherever your training will be most efficient and realistic.


SimJunior is a realistic, life-size paediatric patient simulator designed to be used for the education of individuals or teams of healthcare professionals from multiple disciplines. It is used by our Paediatric department for regular training.


SimBaby is an interactive simulator designed to meet the training needs of Neonatal emergency medicine and resuscitation courses.With realistic newborn traits and lifelike clinical feedback, SimBaby is ideal for training for the specific needs of neonates. It is used for regular Paediatric in-situ training.

Victoria – Child-birthing Simulator

Victoria is the newest manikin to arrive at NDDH and can be used in a variety of simulation sessions. From early pregnancy complications, high-risk deliveries, and postpartum emergencies to non-gravid scenarios for general nursing care, Victoria simulates a full range of obstetrical events to facilitate teamwork and deepen critical thinking skills in learners of all levels. Victoria is used for regular in-situ maternity training and PROMPT courses.

Current training activities available

Anaesthetic Training – Regular sessions are run for anaesthetic trainees throughout the year.

Foundation Doctors – Simulation sessions are mandatory and run regularly throughout the year.

Medical Students – Simulation sessions are part of their curriculum and run regularly throughout the year.

Paediatric Training – Multi-disciplinary sessions are run bi-weekly on Caroline Thorpe Ward using Junior and Baby. In addition, there are larger scale sessions run between Paediatrics, the Emergency Department, Anaesthetics and ITU which happen 3-4 times a year.

Medical Assessment Unit – These sessions take place on the ward bi-weekly and include support workers, nurse associates, students, new staff, nurses and doctors. Additional bespoke sessions take place in the Clinical Simulation Suite throughout the year.

Intensive Care Unit & High Dependency Unit – A variety of sessions take place in-situ and in the Clinical Simulation Suite, customised to the needs of the staff including emergency situations, airway training and transfer training.

Student Nurses – Sessions take place to enable students to practice their assessment, communication and escalation skills, which in turn improves experience and confidence.

Respiratory Physiotherapists – These sessions enable the physiotherapists to practice their assessment, communication and escalation skills, which in turn improves experience and confidence.

Nurse Associates – These sessions enable Nurse Associates to practice their assessment, communication and escalation skills, which in turn improves experience and confidence.

Physician Associates – These sessions enable the Physician Associates to practice their assessment, communication and escalation skills, which in turn improves experience and confidence.

EU Nurses – These sessions enable the Nurses to practice their assessment, communication and escalation skills, which in turn improves experience and confidence.

Support Workers – We do a Human Factors talk and introduce them to Sim Man. We demonstrate normal, abnormal vital signs and oxygen therapy.

Community Hospitals – We can run customised sessions in the community. Our most recent sessions covered sepsis awareness and anaphylaxis.

Maxillo-Facial Out-Patients – A recent session focused on sedated patients having dental treatment. It gave the staff confidence in their practice to deal with this situation.

Last updated: November 08, 2022


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