Colchester Institute has officially launched its new Centre for Health and Social Care Professions. Completed in 2020, the recent £5m development saw a fifth floor added onto the College’s existing South Wing building, providing an additional 1,000 square metres of innovative teaching facilities.
The new floor is solely dedicated to the areas of Health and Social Care and has brand new equipment that mirrors that found within modern health and care settings.
Designed to address local skills shortages, the new centre includes interactive learning technology, skills laboratories, a dental surgery, decontamination suite and rooms for collaborative learning.
Whilst teaching has already commenced in the new centre, the pandemic has delayed the formal opening – which in the current circumstances, was a small affair, which included representatives of the principal funding organisations, (South East Local Enterprise Partnership and Essex County Council) and the local hospitals’ trust.
Health and Social Care student, Laura Jackson spoke highly of the new facilities. “The new facilities have helped me so much as they have enabled me to put theory into practice. In the health skills room we have hospital beds which has made it very easy for me to understand what it would be like working on a ward.”
Forensic and Criminal Investigation student Amber Whitehorne mentioned how the collaborative learning room has helped her learning. “It’s a lot more convenient being able to use the new facilities, with laptops available at all times. I personally like the collaborative room the most as it has smaller monitors that we can cast our screens to.”
Suzanne Kinsey, Area Head for Access, Health and Social Care and Science expressed how fantastic the facilities were for new students. “The Centre for Health and Social Care Professions is a dynamic and inviting environment incorporating the very latest learning technologies. Students are able to learn with high-tech training equipment used in the health and care sectors, ensuring they’ll be well-prepared for the workplace, further training and higher education.”
Course Leader in Health and Social Care, Woedem Togoh added how the new centre creates a realistic industry-standard environment for students to learn in. “It’s great to come to work and have the resources you need to make your teaching authentic. If you walk into the health skills room you have the feel of walking into a hospital ward, we have the bed to start with and we also have a simulation software where we can simulate a busy hospital environment.”
Colchester MP, Will Quince, who officially opened the South Wing building in 2016, was on hand once again to cut the ceremonial ribbon on this additional floor. “The facilities are incredible, it is absolutely brilliant to see the way in which people are going to be able to learn in an environment that is very similar to, and a simulation of what they will see in the real world.”
Principal and Chief Executive, Alison Andreas, said “There has never been a more critical time for us to be inspiring young people – and adults – to gain the skills, knowledge and qualifications to take up careers in the Health and Social Care sectors. These facilities are inspiring and exciting for students and teachers alike and we are already seeing the impact on student numbers.”