International Journal of Healthcare Simulation
Adi Health+Wellness
170 Demonstrating Innovation Through the Skills Hub Initiative
DOI 10.54531/JBQQ6667, Volume: 1, Issue: Supplement 1, Pages: A59-A59
Article Type: Innovations, Article History





In April 2020, Birmingham City University played a key role in the local response to the coronavirus pandemic by providing essential skills training to student nurses, existing National Health Service (NHS) staff who were returning to practice and staff being redeployed to critical care areas. The University’s action saw the rapid development, and delivery of a logistical plan involving staff mobilization, collaboration, skills mapping and prioritization of clinical service needs. Over 2,000 clinicians, including our own students, received a far-reaching training programme covering eight key skills needed to take on frontline NHS roles in the fight against COVID-19. The programme was innovative, sustainable and all risks to patients were eliminated, as the learning took place within the University’s state-of-the-art simulation facilities.


Our aim was to design and deliver a rapid skills development centre that could train a core mass of staff facing redeployment to the standard required to work, competently and confidently, within the teams on the frontline NHS.


The rapid development was a huge challenge, involving identifying an essential cohort of staff from the Faculty of Health who were willing and able to deliver such a wide range of clinical skills. Each skill was risk assessed and a COVID-19 lead was identified within the team. We ensured all essential personal protective equipment (PPE) was available and that social distancing could be assured, including reducing the number of students in a room at any one time. This was particularly challenging as it increased the teaching time required exponentially.

Implementation outline:

This was a difficult time globally, and the University’s action led to the demonstration of outstanding courage and commitment to care towards the community we serve. While the public was being urged to stay at home, our staff were constructing a Skills Hub to deliver in-person with personal risk. The Estates and Facilities team worked to create a one-way system throughout the complex building. The University worked closely with the skills teams in local NHS Trusts, especially University Hospitals Birmingham, to ensure the skills taught were in line with Trust requirements, and that the training would have the biggest impact in supporting patient care. The Skills Hub team worked tirelessly and in collaboration to ensure the efficacy of development and the safe delivery of the programme. The Skills Hub continues to operate as a huge success, proving sustainability, whilst continuing to provide an integral part of curriculum achievement for all healthcare students.

Humphreys and Coulton: 170 Demonstrating Innovation Through the Skills Hub Initiative Demonstrating Innovation Through the Skills Hub Initiative&author=&keyword=&subject=Innovations,