Muslim community pitches in for Matthew Hay Project

Muslim community pitches in for Matthew Hay Project

The local Muslim community is giving its support to an appeal to help make the new medical education and training centre being developed at Foresterhill the finest of its kind in the UK.

A donation of £6,000 is being made to the Matthew Hay Project to equip the changing area for the team of 'pretend patients', who are a vital part of the training of the next generation of doctors and other health professionals.

Simulated patients are volunteers from the community who role-play a variety of symptoms and conditions, as an important part of presenting the learner with a range of scenarios that they could encounter on a daily basis. Video is used to record the mock consultation for discussion and learning, and as part of professional exams. Trainers are looking not only for excellent practical and communication skills on the part of the health worker, but also that the patient understands the diagnosis and options for treatment, and is being involved as a partner in his or her own care.

The current facilities in the Westburn Centre are far from ideal, and the donation will help create a comfortable, private changing area for entering 'patient mode', adjacent to a purpose-designed simulated ward.

The new £16.5m building will provide state-of-the-art education and training for medical students, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and a range of clinical staff, learning and practicing together as one team. The quality of the facility, its technology and teaching - plus the close proximity to real clinical areas - is expected to make this development the finest of its kind in the UK.

Dr Abdul Sheikh, Consultant Anaesthetist with NHS Grampian, said: "Aberdeen has a substantial Muslim community, many of whom work in oil and health services. Islam encourages all Muslims to be charitable and help those in need, and there is a strong tradition of charitable giving by the Muslim community in Aberdeen.  However this is the first local fundraising we have undertaken, and we hope that a proportion of all our activities will in future be for the benefit of the local community.

"A second generation of Muslims born and raised in Aberdeen have been educated at the University of Aberdeen, and both the University and NHS Grampian are very supportive in providing facilities for us to practise our religion. We hope that this relationship will continue to grow and by helping with fundraising for this unique project not only Muslim but all students will benefit from the excellent teaching facilities this project will provide. We as Muslims are proud to help with this undertaking."

Dr Rona Patey, Director of the Clinical Skills Centre at Foresterhill and Consultant Anaesthetist with NHS Grampian, said:  "We are delighted to receive this support from our Muslim friends and colleagues, for what is a very important feature of this project. Our wonderful team of simulated patients add tremendous value to the learning experience, especially in practising communications skills which are a vital part of healthcare in our increasingly diverse community. We are always keen to hear from people who would be interested in joining this friendly group, which we hope will come to reflect the wonderful cultural mix of our North-east community."

Anyone interested in finding out more about being a simulated patient should contact Dr Fiona Stewart on 01224 551166, email href="mailto:f.stewart@abdn.ac.uk">f.stewart@abdn.ac.uk</a> or write to

Dr Fiona Stewart, Clinical Skills Centre, Westburn Centre, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB23 2XG

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