Background The use of medical simulation training has grown dramatically in the last 10 years but data on its prevalence in training is lacking.
Aims The objective of this study is to determine whether junior neonatal doctors receive simulation training.
Methods: 158 NICU Registrars in England and Wales completed a phone questionnaire. 23 locum respondents were excluded from analysis.
Results When asked where simulation training took place; 66.9% had received simulation training. 42.2% had training in their NICU only, 13.3% had training in a simulation centre only, and 10.3% had training in both NICU and a simulation centre. Of this 42.7% was low fidelity, 38.2% was high fidelity and 15.7% was a mix. All training recipients reported it helped their clinical practice.
The prevalence of simulation training was highest in London with 90%receiving training, followed by the Northern region with 73.3%, Wales with 58%, and the South East and the South West regions both with only 50%.
Simulation training occurred in 76.5% of the level 3 NICUs compared to only 58.4% of the level 1 NICUs.
Discussion Simulation training is an essential adjunct to doctors’ training recommended by the DoH and RCPCH. Here we report that a third of junior neonatal doctors across England and Wales are not offered any clinically beneficial simulation training, and this figure depends on hospital location and NICU level. A large proportion of junior doctors are therefore inadequately prepared for acute emergencies.
Conclusions The authors recommend that all NICUs schedule simulation training for the junior doctors.
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