Newcastle Surgical Training Centre

0191 223 1264

What we are about

The Newcastle Surgical Training Centre (NSTC), based at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne, is a unique, state of the art facility providing advanced cadaveric education to the medical profession. It has already 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 anatomical examination units of its kind in the UK to carry a formal licence from the Human Tissue Authority enabling some of our leading surgeons to deliver cadaveric training in a unique and extremely high specification “wet lab” environment.


Nationally recognised surgical experts

NSTC provides premium surgical skills training focusing on enhancement of core surgical competencies and delivering both tutorial and professional training programmes enabling surgeons to stay at the forefront of a constantly changing profession – all at a time when demand for high quality training has never been greater. Our nationally recognised surgical experts teach and assess the skills and competencies of all members of a surgical team and provide a long sought after national resource which means UK based surgeons no longer need to go abroad for “wet lab” based training.

The training centre incorporates a large multi-theatre environment, equipped with advanced endoscopic equipment, high specification Galaxy Ultra Operating Theatre lights, integrated cameras, and comprehensive state of the art audio visual (AV) equipment with both internal and external videoconferencing links. These enable live surgical training activity (from both the unit and other theatres) to be transmitted from the operating tables directly to the centre’s seminar room, situated adjacent to the operating theatre with capacity for 35 trainees at any one time, as well as an unlimited number of observing participants with videoconferencing links around the country and abroad.  The centre can also provide a wide range of other educational sources including recorded surgical technical sessions on DVD and is increasingly being used under guidance for development of newer technology. The training centre also offers one-to-one training for highly specialised techniques.

Wide spectrum of training advanced clinical techniques

The NTSC offers training courses in laparoscopic colorectal techniques, advanced endoscopic ligament reconstructive and open orthopaedic procedures, aesthetic / plastic surgery, urology, ENT and cardiology.  The training facilities provide clinical anatomy teaching and surgical skills training for doctors and allied health professionals at all stages of their careers and is used by medical professionals from regional, national and international networks including the Royal College of Surgeons. The Centre was the focus of the successful bid for Newcastle to be appointed as ‘National Training Centre’ for laparoscopic colorectal surgery.  The DoH National Training Programme was launched in the NSTC in September 2008.

Since September 2007 we have trained over 210 consultants in advanced laparoscopic procedures. Overall evaluation carried out so far has been extremely positive including comments such as “It certainly was all I had wished for and more”, “Thank you, had an amazing time, exceptional course” and “Superb Wet Lab, excellent exposure”.

The NSTC was conceived by and is under the co-directorship of two consultant surgeons Mr A Horgan and Mr D Deehan.  The unit brings together a focus for the dissemination of surgical skills harnessing the expertise of a number of endoscopic and open surgical teams within the Trust. Collaboration with national and international faculty colleagues drives greater understanding of surgical techniques delivering improved patient care.

“The Newcastle Surgical Training Centre (NSTC) provides a unique facility in the UK.  Using cadaveric material we have successfully run advanced training courses for surgeons from throughout Europe, representing multiple specialties.  Our particular focus has been in teaching the techniques of advanced Minimal Access Surgery, using the most up-to-date technology in a purpose-built environment.  Feedback from delegates attending the 33 courses over the initial six months of operation has been universally positive.”  Mr Alan Horgan, Consultant Surgeon.

The NSTC is generously supported by KeyMed Olympus , Ethicon Endo Surgery and Ethicon Professional Development.

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