THE first training facility of its kind in the region has opened at a North-East College.

Newcastle College's Health and Care Simulation Centre is the first of its kind in the North East.

The centre is designed to meet the training needs of the health and care sectors and transform the teaching and training of employees across the region.

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It is also the only centre in the region which offers training in three key areas, healthcare, social care and childcare.

The event brought together employers and stakeholders from the health and care sectors to experience the centre first hand and see the benefits it will bring to organisations across the North East.

The centre offers a practical and safe environment in which learners and staff can train in industry standard settings, using industry standard equipment.

The resources include a five bed ward with realistic interactive dummies and hospital beds; a paediatric unit with birth simulation facilities and real care babies; an intensive care unit with defibrillator; a domiciliary care room, with fully equipped bedroom, bathroom and kitchen; sensory and communication rooms; and 'Little Acorns', a Children's Development unit.

Barbara King, director of health and enterprise at Newcastle College, said: "This unique centre provides health and care sector staff with high quality professional development opportunities. We can help employers recruit a skilled workforce, equipped with the right training and skills from the outset or offer bespoke programmes to update staff.

"We even have a mobile simulation team that can transport simulators to employers' premises for in-situ training".

The centre is a collaboration between Newcastle College, major employers, local authorities, Sector Skills Councils and strategic stakeholders within the sector.