YOUNGSTERS not only got to exercise their brains but to step inside one when they visited a mobile NHS training centre.

The bus, which full of innovative training tools and interactive displays, is usually used to train healthcare professionals across the region. But MELISSA (the Mobile Educational Learning Improving Simulation and Safety Activities), is also currently being used to deliver a pilot NHS careers project.

Year nine and ten students from Teesdale School, in Barnard Castle, and class three pupils from Cotherstone Primary School climbed onboard MELISSA when she visited Teesdale recently.

Children learnt about the variety of staff needed to run the NHS– more than 300 different roles– and went away appreciating the part every worker plays and considering them as potential jobs for their own future.

They also got to see what it was like inside a clinical suite, learn about emergency first aid and walk through a giant inflatable brain.

Peter Blakeman, director for clinical quality and CNE integrated care system, said the team runing the bus was impressed with how polite and engaged students were and thanked school staff were dealing with Ofsted inspection at the same time.