VIMARS started as VIMAS (Victory Institute for Minimal Access Surgery) in 2010 with the opening of a training centre in the Postgraduate Centre at St.Mary's Hospital, Portsmouth. This was the culmination of many years planning by Mr.Simon Toh, Consultant Surgeon with support from Rocky Appeal, Dinwoodie Trust and industry. The training facility was designed by Mr.Dan O'Leary, Consultant Surgeon, who oversaw the building project. It was finally opened by Trustees of the Dinwoodie Trust in Oct 2010 and has been used since for many surgical simulation training courses. It was then led by Director Prof Amjad Parvaiz. However, with the closure of St.Mary's & Haslar Hospital and the opening of the new enlarged1200 bed Queen Alexandra Hospital, the site of the training centre was no longer suitable for training and we needed to find a new home for VIMAS.
Meanwhile, in 2013, we acquired a Da Vinci surgical robot with training console and simulator with plans to become a UK multidisciplinary robotic surgical training centre. Also in 2013, the Greenaway Review on 'The Shape of Training' reported with emphasis on shorter broad-based training alongside specialty training over 4-6yrs.With reduced working hours, this will prove difficult to deliver without additional training in a simulated environment. A key part of the new training should be not just competency and skills training, but also developing a team approach with emphasis on communication skills with staff & patients, practice working in teams, and to critically adopt new research into current practice.
We therefore needed to develop new and innovative ways to train surgeons of the future. Relocating VIMAS to the QAH site in the QuAD Centre gave us this opportunity to do this. We are on the ground floor below the existing TEAMS Simulation Centre on the Second floor. Within VIMARS, there are an Academy of Radiology led by Dr Antony Higginson and an Endoscopic Surgical Centre led by Prof Pradeep Bhandari so that we can realise multidisciplinary training in one building. Between 2012-2014, new architectural plans were made from a design by Mr.Toh, with support from Paul Sadler (Director of Education) and Matthew Williams (Director of TEAMS). Amy Hutchison, Project Adminstrator, QAH Redevelopment Department took charge of the build which started in July 2014 and completed in Oct 2014 with an official opening by Mr.Rodney Fisher of the Dinwoodie Trust on Dec 2nd. We held our first Training course for Wessex Core Surgical trainees on 28th Oct 2014.
VIMARS and TEAMS brings together surgical, medical and radiological training in one Portsmouth Medical Simulation Centre. This gives us an unique opportunity to develop new multidisciplinary courses to educate doctors and nurses. Courses are planned for the forthcoming year - please see relevant page and these will be updated often. On this website, we will have course materials, operative videos, radiological teaching material and links to useful teaching. Surgical trainees (SpR, CT1-3) can access VIMARS for informal self-directed laparoscopic training. The robotic trainer is situated outside Theatre 14 E level and you will need to undergo training before being allowed to practise on this.