New classes to ease NHS crisis

A mock-up xray dept inthe LIFE Centre classroom at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital
A mock-up xray dept inthe LIFE Centre classroom at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital

Health bosses are hoping to ease the NHS crisis by targeting potential recruits as soon as they start school.

Pupils from the age of five will be receiving lessons with a difference in an unusual classroom set to open next week.

Karen Partington, Chief Executive of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust

Karen Partington, Chief Executive of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust

The LIFE Centre (Learning Inspirations for Future Employment) is a flagship project aimed at promoting a career in healthcare with the NHS.

Based at the hospital, the facility includes mocked up ward areas, a mobile educational unit, kitted out for reality training and 360 degree virtual reality headsets in a cinema room. There is also a dummy A&E department, triage room and x-ray room; which contain old hospital equipment to enable students to experience what it’s really like to work in a variety of professional roles.

Besides schoolchildren and students, it will be available to other Lancashire-based hospital and community healthcare 
centres to use as part of the shared efforts to attract and develop a future 
workforce.

Jackie Higham, widening participation manager at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, led the development of this facility and said: “The aim of this widening participation facility is to highlight the importance of careers in the health sector, and inspire students to undertake a career within the NHS.

“I am thrilled all of the hard work and development of the LIFE Centre has paid off. It is an absolutely brilliant facility which is going to make a huge difference to our community.”

Karen Partington, chief executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals added: “We are absolutely delighted to be opening this new facility which will provide students and young people with a fun and interactive place to learn about a career within an NHS profession.”

It will open with a special ceremony on Friday, April 27.