A NEW academic centre which will benefit medical students for generations has officially opened its doors at the Friarage Hospital.

The centre, located above the Gara ward, will put the Northallerton hospital at the forefront for providing cutting-edge training facilities for undergraduate and postgraduate medical students as well as for staff.

It will also provide a range of training opportunities for healthcare staff across North Yorkshire, Hambleton and Richmondshire in the future.

Thanks to a £400,000 donation from the Friends of the Friarage the new STRIVE centre features an immersive simulation teaching space, a library, three teaching rooms, and a computer room, a common room, offices and a video wall.

The Northern Echo:

The entrance to the new centre

It was officially opened by Professor Namita Kumar, regional postgraduate dean for Health Education England in the North East and Yorkshire, who said: “I am delighted to open the new Friarage academic centre.

"It shows how important education and training is in enhancing our ability to provide excellent patient care.”

Jennie Winnard, director of education at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said the upgrade will bring the Friarage into the 21st century.

She said it will attract more medical, nursing and health care students and will allow staff to train at the Northallerton hospital rather than travel to James Cook in Middlesbrough.

Ms Winnard added: “The Friends of the Friarage have enabled us to develop first class facilities for both traditional classroom education, simulation and virtual reality education.

The Northern Echo:

Jennie Winnard director of education and Susan Watson of Friends of the Friarage

"This will allow us to ensure that the medical education provided to our students, junior doctors and all staff has us at the forefront of medical learning, which is where we want to be as a trust, enabling our provision of first class care.”

James Dunbar, Clinical chair at the Friarage, echoed that positivity and Dr Antony Walters, co-chair of the Friends, said the group was delighted to fund the centre.

He added: “The provision of such a centre of excellence at our local hospital can only encourage high quality medical, nursing and paramedical staff to work and train at the Friarage.

“This of course will be beneficial for the future health and welfare of all Hambleton and Richmondshire residents.”

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