NSTC is committed to suppporting HENEE Surgical Trainees during the restrictions of the COVID pandemic with live streaming cadaveric interactive sessions with experienced Surgeons, led by our Specialty SSTP Consultant Leads, and NSTC & SSTP Director Professor Alan Horgan.

Invitation only.

All sessions will be available to access on the NSTC website for Regional HE NEE Trainees only, further details to follow soon.


NSTC Twitter account will provide you with information about surgical training events taking place here at the NSTC but also upcoming courses and how to register your interest.
Follow us on Twitter - @NSTC123

SuppoRTT (Supported Return to Training) Programme to continue for a further year inline with the SSTP for General Surgery & Obstetrics & Gynaecology HE NEE Trainees

The NSTC in collaboration with HENE was successful in securing funding to provide a practical based SuppoRTT programme to help Trainees in General Surgery and Obstetrics & Gynaecology within the HENE Region to return to work following a period of absence.  This was initally funded for one year, but due to the success of the programme and requests from Trainees, the NSTC will continue supporting Trainees in line with the Surgical Skills Training Programme (SSTP) for a further year.

Returning to work after a career break or going back to work after an extended period away from work (i.e. maternity leave, illness, research) can prove to be quite a challenge.  Whatever the reason, the period of time absent from work often causes a feeling of reduced confidence.  The programme provides a series of bespoke structured courses which will be available throughout the year held at the Newcastle Surgical Training Centre, and will focus on practical cadaveric sessions.

The emphasis of these sessions is developing the skills to support a positive return to training, in a supported and safe enviornment with time to revise and practice skills.

NSTC SuppoRTT Programme Overall Lead Professor Alan Horgan, Consultant Surgeon & NSTC & SSTP Clinical Director
NSTC General Surgery Clinical Leads Miss Sarah Robinson, Consultant Surgeon, Northumbria Mr Venkat Kanakala, Consultant Surgeon, James Cook
NSTC Obs & Gynae Clinical Lead  Mr Tony Chalhoub, Consultant Gynaecologist, Newcastle Trust
NSTC SuppoRTT Programme Manager Mrs Sue Dent, NSTC Specialty Surgical Manager

Surgical Skills Trainng Programme (SSTP)

Following the success of the NSTC & Health Education North East Surgical Skills Training Programme (SSTP) Pilot in General Surgery and ENT, the programme has now been rolled out to the majority of Surgical Specialties in the Northern Region to include Urology, Orthopaedics, Plastics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Paediatric Surgical Trainees, Core Cardiothoracics, OMFS, Ophthalmology and also Radiology.  Neurosurgery will join the programme in September 2020.

The overall programme is led by Professor Alan Horgan, NSTC & SSTP Clinical Director.  The programme has received excellent feedback from both Trainees and Trainers, and is the first of its kind in the UK, delivering an intensive, individualised, unique surgical training opportunity to Health Education North East Surgical Trainees.  The programme provides fresh frozen cadaveric based skills training and assessment to all General Surgical Trainees.

The programme is a visionary response to the rapidly changing face of surgery prompted by exciting technological advances in surgical technques and skills.

New SSTP Clinical Leads for 2020:

Urology SSTP Clinical Lead:

From September 2020 Mr Rajan Veeratterapillay, Consultant Urologist, Newcastle Trust, will take over this role from Mr David Thomas who has led the Urology SSTP very successfully since the Specialty joined the SSTP programme in 2012.

Neurosurgery SSTP Clinical Lead:

Neurosurgery to join the SSTP Programme in September 20, led by Miss Claire Nicholson, Consultant Neurosurgeon, Newcastle Trust.


Joined the programme in December 2019 led by Mr Ajay Wilson and Mr Michael Nugent, Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons, Sunderland Royal Hospital

Newcastle Hospitals offers the most comprehensive multi-speciality robotic surgery programme in UK. It is only hospital in the UK providing robotic surgery for six specialities. It has provided improved quality and clinical outcomes with increased patient choice.  It has enabled the Trust to offer surgical procedures, both in complexity and across different specialties.  It has also allowed the opportunity to position the Trust as a leader in robotic surgery. It has been designated as TUF (The Urology Foundation) Robotic Training Centre. It is one of the three ERUS (European Robotic Urological Surgery) centre in the UK

The Newcastle Surgical Training Centre will host-training programmes designed to help hospitals implement best practices in managing a successful multi-speciality Da Vinci programme working with surgeons, operating room staff, and hospital leadership.  NSTC has provided robotic training courses in six surgical specialities which includes: Colorectal, Urology, TORS, Gynaecology, HPB and Thoracic, as well First Assist courses. This will also equip hospitals with the tools needed to create a safe, efficient, cost effective and successful Da Vinci surgery programme. This would allow the surgeons and nurses to enhance their knowledge and competence in robotic surgery including discussing the surgical technique for safe and effective robotic surgery, indications, contraindications, and methods to manage complications. 

Professor Naeem Soomro, director of robotic surgery   at the Freeman, vividly describes that:

There has been a paradigm shift in our attitude; It has gone from 'why should it be done by robot?' to 'why shouldn't it?' The benefits are not just in surgery itself, but aftercare. It is expected that there would be further developments in future which would allow the surgeons to have access to multiple real time inputs like MR /CT scans along with miniaturisation of the surgical robotic interface.

Robotic surgery is particularly useful in undertaking complex operations in parts of the body which are very difficult to access like pelvis, within rib cage and operations at the back of the mouth. In order for the robotic surgery programmes to be successful the Trusts have to work towards multispecialty model, like we have developed  at the Freeman Hospital

The Newcastle Surgical Training Centre - was the first centre in England to receive full accreditation from the Royal College of Surgeons.

The Centre in Newcastle has developed a national and international reputation, providing a specialist forum for endoscopic skills and is part of the drive to improve the delivery and safety of surgical care and development of new near-patient technology. This centre is one of the very first purpose built anatomical examination units of its kind in the UK to carry a formal licence from the Human Tissue Authority enabling some of its leading surgeons to deliver cadaveric training in a unique and extremely high specification "wet lab" environment. See www.nstcsurg.org. This is yet another demonstration of the Trust's excellence and expertise.

The College terms accreditation as the process by which it verifies the quality and standards of courses or events offered by educational organisations and it has developed guidance and standards to act as a benchmark for good quality programmes, courses or event design. Policies have been developed around six specific forms of accreditation in order to corroborate where programmes, courses, or events have complied with the College's criteria and standards.

One of the 6 forms of accreditation is Centre Accreditation - the review of Surgical Education Centres to ensure compliance with the College criteria and standards for surgical education provision as part of a collaborative educational partnership. There is a rigorous application process to be followed. The Newcastle Surgical Training Centre at Freeman Hospital strives to be a world class research-intensive training facility, to deliver teaching of the highest quality and to play a leading role in the economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England and be acknowledged as a centre of excellence. This accolade has been granted following in depth analysis of the NTSC's procedures.

Mr Getty said "On behalf of the President, Professor Norman Williams, I am delighted to be awarding this accreditation to the Newcastle Surgical Training Centre. The unit provides an excellent facility in which to train the surgeons of the future in a realistic simulated environment, which ensures both the highest standards of training as well as patient safety

Osso VR is an award winning, clinically validated surgical training platform designed for medical device companies, practicing surgeons, residents and medical students of all skill levels. Using immersive VR technology, the platform offers a highly realistic training environment in order to improve patient outcomes. Osso VR is the first training platform to incorporate asessment into it's modules, objectively measuring the trainees knowledge of steps, level of precision and overall efficiency throughout the procedure providing a benchmark for proficiency.

Newcastle Hospitals has the widest adoption of robotic and minimally invasive surgery in the UK, at NSTC we deliver around 200 surgical courses each year and believe that the VR/AR along with realistic simulation will become a significant compoonent of surgical training in the future and are very pleased to partner with Osso VR -Professor Naeem Soomro (Director Of Robotic Surgery - Newcastle Hospitals) 

We see VR as an integral cog in the development and maintainance of surgical skills acqusitiion in health care education - Mr Paul Fearon (Training Programme Director in Orthopaedics, Newcastle Hospitals) 

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NSTC is a unique, state of the art facility providing advanced cadaveric education to the medical profession.
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Newcastle Surgical Training Centre,
Freeman Hospital,
Freeman Road,
High Heaton,
Newcastle upon Tyne

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© Copyright NSTC 2020  The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust gratefully acknowledge the generous support provided by the Newcastle Healthcare Charity (Reg. 502473) and the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Charity (Reg 1057213) who provided the initial funding to establish the Surgical Training Centre (Freeman Hospital)
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