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Simulations saving premature babies lives every day

Over the last four years, the medical staff in the neonatal unit at Princess Anne Hospital, Southampton, have taken part in simulation training. These sessions allow them to train in a realistic clinical environment, and can help to reduce clinical errors and address patient safety issues. 

Southampton Hospital Charity want to purchase the items below for the neonatal unit so that these sessions can be run on a smaller, preterm size simulator both within and outside the hospital.


  • Premie Hal simulator - cost £14,000
  • x2 Laerdal ALS Baby Trainer - cost £3,000


In addition there is need for funding to maintain and buy new manikins and equipment to help improve the skills of staff looking after the sickest babies. 

The efforts of neonatal staff being trained through simulation were recognised nationally in 2014 and they were awarded a BMJ Award. More can be read here 

Alok Sharma, consultant neonatologist, comments: “There is an urgent need for this wireless and preterm mannequin to support training of medical, nursing and midwifery staff to expose them to risk events in a realistic environment. Such equipment is now available and can help make a difference to neonatal training in the region as well as improve outcomes.


In the words of Liam Donaldson: ‘The unfamiliar was familiar because it had been encountered many times before.’


Currently a baby simulator the size of a regular one month baby is being used, which is a lot larger than the babies on the unit – this is unsuitable for our simulation training sessions. 

Our smallest baby born on the unit was 410gm (0.9lb), and we often treat premature babies who are no bigger than the size of a pen.”  

So why do medical staff need the additional training?

In Southampton alone in 2012 there were 905 admissions of preterm babies, of which 31 were under 26 weeks gestation.

At present the neonatal team at Southampton is involved in approximately 250 transfers annually to Southampton General Hospital and local neonatal units in the region. 


If you, or anyone you know has had a premature baby, you will understand the specialist treatment they require, and the advantage of having a specific premature simulator on the unit to provide additional training for staff. 


You can help us raise money for this project by setting up your own fundraising event for the unit, or you alternatively can make a donation by calling the charity offices on 023 8120 8881 and quote (Neonatal Simulation Education Fund). 

This project is being part funded by the money generated through the simulation staff providing courses and training to neonatal staff all over the country and The Charlotte May Foundation. Since the start of the programme in 2010, the unit have run over 50 courses and sessions combined. 

You can read more about the benefits of simulation here

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