New state-of-the-art Care Skills Training Centre

The Care Skills Training Centre at Guildford College gives students a unique insight into careers in clinical health and social care.

360º virtual tour of the Care Skills Training Centre

The Care Suite

Designed in partnership with Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Health Education England and Skills for Care, the new industry-standard facilities at Activate Learning’s Guildford campus will be used by the students at Guildford College studying Health and Social Care and Access to Higher Education programmes.

The facility will also be used by nursing professionals from Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust and Surrey and Borders NHS Trust for their own training requirements.

Other care providers within the local community will also be invited to use the training facilities within the Care Skills Centre. 

With £500k funding contribution from Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, this best in-sector facility will provide students with opportunities to practise and refine the skills they need to make them ready for life in the workplace.

Helping to meet Surrey’s health and social care challenges of the future

There is rising demand for care services as a result of an ageing population and local authorities focussed on supporting people to live independently within their own homes. It is estimated that the social care workforce alone needs to grow by 750 new jobs every year to 2025 to keep pace with demand.

The Care Skills Centre will help to attract more people to consider working in the sector, giving them an excellent preparation for their career, as well as developing the skills and expertise of those already employed by the NHS.  Equipping our health and social care teams with the essential skills and hands-on training they need is crucial to ensuring a positive future for care services throughout the county.

The facilities support training in areas of health and social care including dementia and end of life care, infection control, medication administration and wound care.

Training will be delivered within a fully immersive learning environment which is specifically designed to simulate situations that students would encounter on a hospital ward or in a care setting.

What does the new Care Skills Training Centre offer to learners?

The outstanding facilities within the Care Skills Training Centre include:      

  • A simulated hospital ward, complete with life-like training mannequins, this area mirrors a real-life, six-bed hospital ward helping students to learn clinical and care skills in a safe but realistic way. This state-of-the-art facility offers learners the opportunity to practice basic and advanced observational skills, first aid, emergency care, drug administration and wound dressing. Each of the beds is monitored via plasma screens and has allocated IT diagnostic equipment to allow more advanced learners the opportunity to practice their skills independently.
  • A high-tech 360º immersive space. This best-in-sector facility transforms an ordinary classroom into an exciting and engaging fully interactive learning environment. Learners are able to collaborate and engage in complex real-life situations. The facility allows teachers to connect with learners in a way that would not be possible through a traditional learning environment.
  • A fully-equipped residential environment that enables students to get an insight into what it is like to go to a patient’s house to care for them, therefore developing their occupational skills which gives them a head-start in their careers.

Find out more about Health and Social Care programmes available at Guildford College or contact us via 0800 612 6008.

Meet the Health and Social Care Team at Guildford College

Gemma Forder Faculty Manager

Career experience:

I completed a BTEC in Health and Social Care after school as I wanted to become a nurse and felt that A Levels weren’t for me. I then went to study adult nursing. Once I had my degree I worked in trauma and orthopaedics and then in intensive care. After a while, I decided to complete my Midwifery training and then become a specialist emergency gynaecology and early pregnancy nurse so I could combine my adult nursing and midwifery training. I still work in the NHS and maintain my nursing registration. Before starting my role at Guildford, I was a sister of a ward in emergency gynaecology and early pregnancy.

What I love about my job:

Providing guidance and being integral to the development of the next generation of health care workers and learning about new work practices and the technologies that they will engage with, in their roles. I also enjoy working in partnership with local providers so that my learners are exposed to up to the minute practices and real-world experiences that enrich their training experience.

Lynne Griffiths Care Skills Centre Coordinator

Career experience:

I started my training in 1988 at Charing Cross Hospital and qualified in 1991 when I started work as a staff nurse. I decided to study for a degree so worked as a community nurse around my studies. I moved to Surrey and ran a nursing agency before working at the Royal Surrey Hospital in a day medical unit for the elderly. During my time in Surrey, I’ve worked as a school nurse, for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice as part of their Hospice Care at Home team, a nurse visitor for the elderly in the Guildford area and for the Beacon Centre at the Royal Surrey among many other varied roles!

What I love about my job:

My varied professional background in the care sector brings many benefits to our Health and Social Care students at Guildford College. As the Skills Centre Coordinator, I can bring my wide, practical experience to my teaching and assessing role - as well as a long list of local contacts in the sector which is of great benefit to the students when it comes to work placements and inviting inspirational guest speakers in to college.

Mercedes Winnan Health and Social Care tutor, Level 3 Lead

Career experience:

I started my training as a nurse at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead in 1989 and specialised in neurosurgery and HIV before studying for a degree in Social Anthropology. I then worked as a practice nurse for several years before leaving to undertake a Masters in Medical Anthropology. I then worked in A&E as a nurse practitioner in primary care, before embarking on my degree in Midwifery at the University of Surrey in 2010. After gaining experience as a community midwife in Portsmouth I made the decision to return to nursing and worked for a number of years in a women’s prison, qualifying as a nurse practitioner and independent nurse prescriber during this time. I completed my PGCE in Chemistry and embarked on my teaching career in 2018 where I hope to pass on all my experience to the next generation of care workers.  I still maintain my nursing registration and in the early days of the pandemic I was able to do nursing shifts on my days off.

What I love about my job:

I bring a huge amount of experience to my role as Level 3 lead within the Health and Social Care department at Guildford College. I can bring various scenarios to life by utilising the state-of-the-art facilities within the Care Skills Centre. I really enjoy delivering hands on, practical learning to my students so that they leave us well equipped and prepared for successful careers in the care sector.

Tahira Khan Health and Social Care tutor, Level 3 Lead

Career experience:

I am a qualified, registered social worker and hold a Masters Degree in medical sociology and postgraduate specialisation in parent-infant mental health. I have 37 years of experience in social work practice. I have worked with Local Authority, voluntary and charity sector organisations, specialising in children, young people and family assessment and safeguarding. I obtained the Postgraduate Practice Educator Award from the Royal Holloway University of London and have been directly involved in social work education for 25 years. I am committed to promoting the curiosity and resilience of learners, so that they are able to understand social justice, advocacy and professional values.


What I love about my job:

I enjoy listening to the views of learners. I am able to transfer diverse professional experience in order to support the theory and practice of learners as they move forward in their choice of career.

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