Robot baby introduced in North East to help in training for emergencies involving children

A robot baby has been introduced to paediatric education across the North East to help train in treating critically ill babies more effectively.

The SimBaby creates more realistic scenarios of treating an infant. When used in training, it is hoped it will equip healthcare professionals with better skills before treating a real child.

The charity Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) which supports the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital has donated the simulator.

It costs £36,000 and has mostly been paid for with the help of fundraiser Paige Jones from Gateshead.

Paige raised over £23,000 with her £21k for 2021 challenge in memory of her cousin Nelle who was just two-and-a-half-years-old when she died from a heart condition. CHUF has named the SimBaby Nelle in tribute.

Paige says, "We've done a lot of things to try and let her memory live on and with the SimBaby which we've called Nelle it means that her legacy can live on for a long, long time."

Nelle will enhance an education programme that is set to be rolled out by the North East and North Cumbria Congenital Heart Disease Network across the region for all healthcare professionals.

Kaye Walsh, a nurse involved in the training programme, says, "It's about practice and it's about the skills that you learn in textbooks and powerpoint presentations but it's enabling you to practice those skills without any harm and thats the key.

"It's that teams can work together in a safe environment with a mannequin and practice those skills to when it happens in real life, they're prepared, they work together as a team and then the best practice outcomes for the child and family."