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New nurse education facility officially opens on Merseyside

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Adult nursing students at the University of Chester have begun training at a new state-of-the-art education facility in the heart of the Wirral.

The multi-million pound project has seen an imposing building in the centre of Birkenhead transformed into a high-tech training centre complete with a fully equipped skills laboratory resembling a hospital ward.

“We aim to reach out to local residents looking to train as nurses”

Tim Wheeler

The Marriss House facility, which was officially launched this week, also includes classrooms, space for group work and a library.

It is named after former deputy vice chancellor Professor Dorothy Marriss who has played a leading role in the development of nursing education in the region and was the first dean of the university’s faculty of health and social care.

Marriss House has already welcomed its first cohort of undergraduate adult nursing students, who will have the chance to practice clinical skills using virtual reality equipment.

The university’s adult nursing programme is also delivered at its Warrington Campus, Riverside Campus in Chester, and Leighton Hospital in Crewe – part of Mid Cheshire Hospitals Foundation Trust.

University vice chancellor Professor Tim Wheeler hoped the new training facility would inspire people to enter nursing or return to the profession.

“This facility is in the heart of Birkenhead and we aim to reach out to local residents looking to train as nurses as well as those continuing their professional development or renewing their skills,” he said.

“We will continue to work closely with our NHS partners to respond to the challenges of healthcare in the 21st century,” said Professor Wheeler.

“It offers state-of-the-art training to deliver the highest quality graduates”

Dorothy Marriss

He said it was fitting that it had been named after Professor Marriss who was director of nursing and midwifery at the Countess of Chester Hospital when she was appointed to oversee a major merger of nursing schools in Chester, Wirral, Crewe and Macclesfield and the transfer of provision to higher education.

She became the dean of the new school of nursing and midwifery, which later expanded to encompass social work and wider healthcare education, and went on to be deputy principal of the university and later deputy vice chancellor.

“Naming this building Marriss House is a fitting tribute to all Dorothy has done for the university, said Professor Wheeler.

Professor Marriss said she was surprised and overwhelmed when she found out the building was to be named in her honour.

“It took my breath away when the vice chancellor discussed naming this grand facility after me,” she said. “It offers state-of-the-art training to deliver the highest quality graduates to work in the health profession.”

Professor Angela Simpson, executive dean of the faculty of health and social care, said the university was keen to recruit would-be nurses from the local population.

“Nursing is a hugely rewarding career with opportunities to make a real difference to people’s lives,” she said.

She added: “We look forward to working with our education partners on the Wirral to ensure that local people have opportunities to progress onto our undergraduate nursing programme based at Marriss House.”

The facility was officially opened by the Lord Bishop of Chester, the Rt Rev Dr Peter Foster, who is president of the University Council.

University of Chester

Marriss House facility

Professor Tim Wheeler, Professor Dorothy Marriss, Professor Angela Simpson and Rt Rev Dr Peter Forster

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