Living Lab launches at the University of Sunderland

living lab photo

On October 20, leading nurse Lisa Bayliss-Pratt returned to the University of Sunderland to open the final element of the Sciences Phase II development, the Living Lab. 

The Living Lab has the most advanced healthcare industry equipment, including specialist simulation equipment. It offers students a hands-on practical experience in realistic settings. The ultimate aim of the Living Lab is to prepare graduates with the knowledge, skills and expertise to be effective health care providers.

The Sciences Complex Phase II has been generously supported by a £300,000 grant from the Garfield Weston Foundation. This outstanding grant has been invested in a high-tech simulation suite, which is not available anywhere else in the region.

The Living Lab has been developed in collaboration with Sunderland’s Clinical Commissioning Group, with the new facilities will provide health care professionals, staff and students with the necessary skills and expertise that they will need to effectively deal with future challenges in the health care sector.

Alison Rutherford, Faculty Manager for Health, Wellbeing, Sports and Psychology, said: “I think having facilities like the Living Lab will attract people to study, because of its state of the art equipment. It is a really nice environment, its open and spacious, and it will draw students in. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg for Sunderland University.”

The Living Lab will also be very beneficial for those studying nursing.  Rutherford added: “There are a lot of doors open to you when you do become a qualified nurse. You can specialise in adult, mental health, disability nursing or specialise as a practitioner. Nursing is a very proactive career. There is a lot of availability to extend your skills within nursing at the Living Lab.”

Professor John MacIntyre, Pro Vice-Chancellor, and Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences at Sunderland University and Professor Tony Alabaster, Associate Dean Research and External Engagement & Head of Department for Pharmacy, Health and Wellbeing at Sunderland University also commented on the exciting launch.

They said: “We are delighted to launch our Living Lab, an innovative part of our vision for integrated health care, supporting our work with the NHS, healthcare providers, and the public, to improve the health and well-being of our city and region.

“It shows how progressive and forward looking we are as a University, and the importance of creating the physical spaces needed to take forward our high quality teaching, world-class research, and our important partnerships.”

The Living Lab is a simulated environment that is now open for health specialists, nurses, paramedics, doctors and pharmacy students. It is a multi-purpose facility that can be used by multi-disciplinary teams and anyone within the healthcare consortium. 

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