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Chief Medical Officer opens new surgical skills centre

A unique centre combining surgical skills training for surgeons with anatomy teaching for medical students was opened by Sir Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer for England on the 4th June.

The West Midlands Surgical Training Centre at University Hospital, Coventry has been established in partnership with Warwick Medical School and the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority.

The Centre will deliver anatomy training to medical students from Warwick Medical School using plastinated specimens purchased from Gunther von Hagens' laboratory in Germany. The University of Warwick is the first in the UK to purchase these specimens for anatomy teaching.

The Centre will also be used to train surgeons in new operating techniques on realistic materials, allowing the opportunity for surgeons to perfect procedures.

Facilities at the Centre include a large surgical room with eight operating stations and a large teaching screen at the front for presentations or to view video from any of the stations. There is also a two-way link to an adjacent lecture room and the internet meaning distant trainees can be "virtually" present for dissections.

Malcolm Stamp CBE, Chief Executive of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, said: "The West Midlands Surgical Training Centre will help up achieve our vision that trainee surgeons are given every opportunity to perfect procedures in a high quality environment.

"This innovative facility will improve patient safety and the quality of care not only for our patients but for patients across the West Midlands and beyond."

Professor Martin Underwood, Acting Dean of Warwick Medical School, said: "This new facility will give our medical students access to our unique plastinated specimens for anatomy training. These specimens are an amazing resource, they are of the highest quality and allow students to understand how the body works in incredible detail."

To discuss course requirements, costs and available dates please call 02476 968973 or visit the Medical School website for more details.