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COMMENT IHEEM IHEEM set for major training announcement


Editor: Jonathan Baillie

Technical Editor: Mike Arrowsmith

BSc(Hons), CEng, FIMechE, FIHEEM

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Publisher: Geoff King

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One of the most important components for any efficient healthcare estates management and healthcare engineering department is well- trained staff – a particular priority given that, with the age profile of today’s NHS EFM workforce, many of the most experienced such personnel may be close to retirement. For effective succession planning, both new entrants, and those coming up through the ranks and replacing seasoned personnel, will thus need to be effectively trained. Next month in HEJ IHEEM will unveil details of a new CPD programme, new information portal, and training hub, plus the start of an online suite of training partnership programmes. In this month’s Institute News you can get a foretaste of the latter, with information on a new nine-day online, CPD-certified course on Health Facility Planning, which will be run in late September and early October in conjunction with TAHPI, and is targeted at ‘professionals already experienced in related industries, but lacking the specialised knowledge required for healthcare planning design’.

The importance of training is, of course, universally recognised; in an article on pages 38-42, Army-trained engineer, Rob Strange, the CEO of biomedical equipment engineering services specialist, Avensys, warns that in his experience many in-house EBME departments


Eastwood Park’s new training centre ‘reaches next major milestone’

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Eastwood Park says construction of its new training centre in Gloucestershire has ‘reached its next major milestone’. CEO, John Thatcher, said: “Over the years you may have followed our desire to build our brand-new training facility – it has, after all, been a mammoth project; one where two steps forward and three back appeared to become the norm at times. We – like many of you – are continuing to face the challenges of an ageing estate, its Grade 2 listing, and its 200 acres of Gloucestershire countryside. However, this expansive estate is what makes our environment so appropriate for learning, and we remain one of the few places where you can stay and train. This creates considerable benefits of networking, socialising with like- minded classmates, and an opportunity to remove yourself from day-to-day distractions, ready to learn new skills or refresh old ones. “So, after dealing with complex planning constraints, ecological setbacks, and the coming and goings of a couple of developers, we are delighted to say we have reached our next milestone. The completed building –

being built by Construction Total Solutions – will be handed over imminently, and we are now all set for the healthcare ‘fit-out’. Such a complex fit-out cannot be underestimated – the centre is in effect a mini-hospital, but structured so as to create a highly practical learning environment for hospital engineering, estates, and decontamination teams, and other FM providers.

“So, we are getting there. Thank you to those who continue

to recognise the value of our training, and the equipment suppliers who have shown such patience – it’s now starting to get exciting – and for supporting us during this next and final phase of the build. With us all battling with the impacts of COVID-19, it’s good to have such a positive focus that we are confident will bring benefits to many.”

Suppliers interested in providing equipment for use in the new facility should contact Lyndsay Corbett, Training Manager, on 01454 262777.

Eastwood Park

Falfield, Gloucestershire GL12 8DA

are both under-resourced and under-trained, and may thus be over-reliant on OEM companies to maintain and service such equipment, since (he claims) few EBME manufacturers offer much in the way of accompanying training to ‘in-house’ NHS EBME teams when they sell such equipment to NHS hospitals. He also argues that the importance of the EBME engineer’s role remains under-recognised – although such personnel are responsible for life-critical equipment, he claims that all too often they are operating out of ageing and unsuitable premises.

On a positive note, Eastwood Park reports that its brand new training facility in Gloucestershire is now progressing extremely well, and should soon begin being fitted out. When complete, it will be like a ‘mini hospital’, where course participants will receive up-to- date training on a wide range of hospital equipment, and guidance on solving some of the more commonly experienced equipment ‘issues’ in a realistic setting. Eastwood Park CEO, John Thatcher, acknowledges that the centre has taken longer to complete than originally hoped, but says all associated with the training facility are now ‘extremely excited’ that the building will be ready for handover imminently.

Jonathan Baillie I Editor

September 2020 Health Estate Journal 5

health estate journal

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