The facility was officially opened by Professor Cathy Warwick CBE, General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM). She commented:
“It is absolutely critical that we get the education for students right to provide high quality maternity services for women. It is fantastic to see the innovation going on here and I am really impressed – I will be spreading the good news of Northampton through my talks around the country.”
The Skills Suite offers two scenarios to students – one is a homebirth setting, and the other is a hospital/clinical environment with realistic working models of an expectant mother and babies. Students will assess the mother and assist as she gives birth, with others able to view what is going on via the monitors outside of the birthing suite to aid their own training.
Dr Sue Allen, Executive Dean of the School of Health, added:
“The Midwifery Skills Suite is a welcome addition to our growing portfolio of realistic experiential education areas on campus, such as the Paramedic Skills Laboratory with a real ambulance installed in the facility and our Dental Skills Suite with fully operational dental equipment.
“The Skills Suite offers students across the School of Health – not just from Midwifery courses – the opportunity to become competent, capable, confident and collaborative practitioners in a safe environment.”
Other guests at the opening included midwifery leads from Northampton General Hospital, Kettering General Hospital and Milton Keynes Hospital and the Head of Education Commissioning South of England ( Central) Strategic Health Authority.