Melbourne's Royal Women’s Hospital will be home to a new, in-situ simulation education initiative after receiving A$2.4m in grants.

The Australian hospital received A$1.6 million from Gandel Philanthropy and A$800,000 from the Melbourne Medical School at the University of Melbourne.

Over four years the combined support, along with in-kind contribution from the Women’s Hospital, will fund the Gandel Simulation Education Service. The program focuses on real-life clinical complexity, the patient journey and clinician responses.

It was developed by the Women’s Dr Rebecca Szabo, an obstetrician gynaecologist and medical educator. Szabo, also an academic at The University of Melbourne, will lead the initiative's implementation.

It will enable staff to train and experience dealing with life-threatening emergencies and challenging clinical situations involving women and babies.

In-situ simulation

The program will have links across the Parkville medical and university precinct. It will include collaborations with world leading partners from Australia, U.S., U.K and Israel.

"This new, incredibly generous grant will enable us to set up a state-of-the-art program to train and educate hundreds of staff, improving clinical outcomes and reducing risks for women and babies," said Dr Sue Matthews, CEO at the Women’s.

Gandel Philanthropy supports community organisations that have a focus on addressing social and economic inequity through innovative solutions. The Australian charity provided the Women's with a grant in 2007 to establish radiology and ultrasound services.

"This initiative will help one of Melbourne’s most loved and trusted public hospitals join other global healthcare leaders by adopting a world-class clinical education and training program," said Vedran Drakulic, CEO of Gandel Philanthropy.

The Women’s and the University of Melbourne have been partners for over 150 years, training generations of medical professionals. 

Professor John Prins, Head of the Melbourne Medical School at the University of Melbourne, said the community would benefit.

"This program is an investment in new and emerging capabilities," he said. "It will improve the ability of health professionals to provide quality, safe, evidence-based and compassionate care to patients."