Digital care hub for Sighthill students

A new digital care hub, launched in partnership with Edinburgh College, aims to provide greater skills and opportunities to health and social care students in the Lothians.


Nurses and doctors working in intensive care unit

Located at Edinburgh College’s Sighthill Campus, the hub will equip students with the transferrable skills required to fulfil a successful career in areas including Health and Social Care, Dental and Pharmacy with a particular emphasis on technology enabled care. 

The hub will focus on building students’ digital and practical skills through its state-of-the-art equipment, supporting experiential learning in a purpose-built setting.

Immersive experience 

It contains a replica medical ward with patient room, toilet and wet room facilities; an infection control and decontamination area; a reflection room; a care at home room; as well as a virtual reality room designed to give students an immersive experience which demonstrates how a patient with dementia experiences day-to-day life. 

Within the care hub students have access to realistic patient simulators with true-to-life responsiveness, in a variety of care settings, enabling them to develop patient testing and care skills.

Also key to the role of the digital care hub is embedding the principles of professionalism amongst students and fostering the meta skills required to work in a care environment including communication, nurture, resilience, initiative and leadership.

We are delighted to work with Edinburgh College on the Digital Care Hub, which will be an excellent resource for those considering a career within health and social care. Harnessing technology to support learning in this way and simulate real-life scenarios in the workplace will enable students to make informed choices about their future, built on their own ambitions and potential.

Professor Peter MathiesonPrincipal and Vice-Chancellor, the University of Edinburgh

Social Care Academy

The new facility hosts the Edinburgh College and University of Edinburgh Social Care Academy which provides an agile pathway to a career in health and social care specifically for school pupils. As part of the programme, pupils study units in digital skills for health and social care, mental health, the human body, infection prevention and control and safe beginners for health and social care. After successfully completing the programme, pupils are able to progress on to further studies with the College or university or advance into employment. 

The digital care hub was launched during an event attended by representatives from key institutions connected to the College and the new hub, and brought together those with a collective interest in supporting the future of the health and care sector. 

Edinburgh College Principal Audrey Cumberford said: “We are delighted to be launching our Digital Care Hub in partnership with the University of Edinburgh. The facility will provide practical learning experiences for pupils and students as well as exposing them to many sector specialisms which they ordinarily might miss out on without having access to specialist equipment in a health and care setting. 

The Digital Care Hub is an exceptional facility for students considering a career within health and social care.  It uses cutting-edge simulation technology and real life scenarios to support learning for 21st century healthcare jobs.  It will enable students to make rapid progress, gain skills and make informed choices about their future careers.  This innovative partnership with Edinburgh College offers a completely new approach to support learners exploring a career in healthcare professions.  This is a new horizon for both the College and the University. I hope it is the forerunner of similar technology-enabled programmes to support talented learners towards skilled work via the College, the University or both.

Professor Jonathan SecklSenior Vice-Principal, the University of Edinburgh