Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

NHS Fife takes delivery of preterm baby simulator

The neonatal team at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy have become the first in the UK to take delivery of a newly-developed advanced preterm baby simulator.

Staff at the neonatal unit raised around £60,000 to fund the purchase of a highly realistic preterm baby simulator to support staff to maintain the skills necessary to provide high quality care. The money was raised though a series of fundraising activities alongside a contribution of around £40,000 from the health board's endowment funds.

Measuring only 35cm long and weighing less than 1kg, 'Paul' as he is known, is roughly the size of an infant at 27 weeks' gestation.

Paul will be used to assist in the ongoing training and development of staff caring for preterm babies. In addition to being used by individual clinicians to practise particular interventions, it can also be used by the wider multidisciplinary team to simulate a variety of emergency scenarios in real time.

The device will also be made available to neonatal units throughout Scotland and the north of England to practise their skills and aid quality improvement for patients in their locality.

Dr Sean Ainsworth, SCBU Consultant Neonatologist at the Victoria Hospital, says: "Providing high quality care for very early preterm infants is a complex and time-sensitive process, and can be particularly challenging for neonatal teams.

"Only a very small number of the infants we see are born at 28 weeks' gestation or less so having the opportunity to regularly maintain and enhance our skills, both as individual clinicians and as a collectively, is invaluable."