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East Norfolk students collaborate in medical technology workshop

11 February 2022


Students from East Norfolk Sixth Form College were put at the forefront of the latest technology and educational techniques following an event held in collaboration with the James Paget in Gorleston.

On Monday 31 January, 17 students and a number of senior college faculty and hospital consultants attended a development workshop hosted by the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, with the aim of exploring the potential of innovative and immersive technologies to enhance emerging learning and skills, in healthcare education.

The main driver for this initiative is to develop flexible, interactive and detailed learner-centred courses to fast track training, in order to meet the current challenges of NHS workforce shortages.

Students currently undertaking Health and Digital Technology courses at East Norfolk College were asked to help create captivating, interactive and enlightening programmes that could help lead to the future of healthcare education. The students will be encouraged to work in teams and an innovation award will be presented for the most successful project.

Professor Pereira stands at a beige coloured wooden lecturn. Behind him is a large projector screen. A slide displayed on the screen reads 'James Paget Innovations in Global Healthcare Education'.

Professor Jerome Pereira, Consultant General & Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon at the James Paget, and Programme Director for multiple blended learning courses in surgery, medicine, nursing, midwifery, specialist nursing and a number of other disciplines, said: “The James Paget has a long history of delivering cutting edge educational programmes for both undergraduate students and postgraduates who are already in their chosen profession.  These successful courses developed in collaboration with the University of East Anglia (UEA), Norfolk & Waveney Healthcare Partnership and Health Education England are now being delivered across the UK and worldwide.

“As a hospital, we are keen to work with young minds of the future, to bring in innovation, gaming and immersive technology skills, with potential to unlock new ways of delivering training and blended learning.  If this pilot project proves successful we aim to open up this initiative to schools and colleges in Norfolk and Suffolk.”

Through a series of talks delivered by Consultants from departments across the James Paget presenting a range of medical scenarios, students were set challenges to apply knowledge and learning from their fields of interest to develop virtual and immersive technological ideas – in areas such as the identification of gallstone disease, training in endoscopy, provision of emergency chest surgery in the A&E setting, treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, and human factors and team working in the critical care setting.

Dr Simon Fox, East Norfolk Sixth Form College Deputy Principal, said “We are incredibly excited about this opportunity for our students to work on such a fascinating multi-disciplinary project with the JPUH. It provides our medics with the chance to explore the healthcare sector whilst also getting involved in developing the training they might one day receive.

“Meanwhile our digital students are contributing to the rapidly growing field of blended-learning, and finding out about the amazing job roles available in sectors outside of the IT field. Bringing them together in teams to create new and innovative solutions to a range of scenarios has been inspiring so far and we can’t wait to see what they create together.”

The James Paget, due to celebrate its 40th year of fully opening to the public on 21 July 2022, is proud of the Trust’s reputation for delivery of high quality education and training, which has the potential to raise the quality of patient care on a national and international level.