Throughout the Peninsula we have a variety of surgical simulation equipment to support the delivery of the Ophthalmology Curriculum. Each Local Education Provider (LEP – Truro, Plymouth, Torbay, Exeter, Taunton and Barnstaple) have been given kit for dry labs, including model heads and rubber eyes together with appropriate instruments to practice strabismus surgery, trabeculectomy, corneal grafting and other corneal procedures, some VR surgery and cataract surgery. Instructional videos and ideas for their use are available on the Simulated Ocular Surgery webpage. Some of the LEPs have sufficient equipment so that one set can be taken home for further practice, with the naked eye or with loupes. Each LEP has a different arrangement for the use of this equipment, with some LEPs using the equipment in theatres, and others (eg Torbay) having dedicated dry lab space.
In the South West we also have a state of the art Virtual Reality surgical simulator (EyeSi by VR Magic) together with all the latest cataract software modules. The simulator is networked, and trainees can access their records either from the simulator via the simulation lead, or via vrnet.com. The simulator is housed at Torbay Hospital Eye Surgery Unit in the Simulation Suite and is available to all trainees in the region after initial induction. Those doctors working at Torbay have 24 hour access whilst they are at the Trust, and those at other Trusts have extended office hours’ access so that they can use the simulator during study, rest or theatre sessions. Induction sessions are held 3 times a year for all new trainees, and other inductions are available by liaising with Ms. Tamsin Sleep at Torbay (01803 655141).
At Torbay Hospital we are also lucky to have the excellent and challenging VRMagic Indirect Ophthalmoscopy simulator, available, in the same manner as the cataract simulator, to all trainees.
An Introduction to LASER Surgery simulation course is run at Torbay in September each year, available to all trainees. This uses a variety of simulated eye models, and allows practice with the YAG and Argon/Pascal lasers for all common LASER procedures. We intend to expand the provision of LASER simulation across the Peninsula.
The curriculum is also supported by a variety of wet labs throughout the year (eg oculoplastics, trabeculectomy, corneal surgery) provided as part of the regional teaching program.
Please refer to the Royal College of Ophthalmologists website for details on the curriculum. https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/curriculum/ost/