Our journey from the peripatetic ultrasound trainers to the ultrasound training academy: HEE South East

Famida Sadak, Ultrasound Training Academy, HEE (South East) University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

In 2016, an innovative project of three ultrasound trainers evolved to support multi-professional trainees in Obstetric and Gynaecology ultrasound across the Wessex region. The aim of the project was to deliver a high-quality ultrasound training programme. One of the project’s successes resulted in establishing the Sonographer Training Network Forum which allowed ultrasound leads from seven Trusts to meet and share ideas, which ultimately led to the development of regional ultrasound guidelines. From 2016 to early 2020, we have supported 75 trainees in O&G ultrasound.

The vision was to create a dedicated ultrasound training centre to support trainees in a safe environment. Late 2019, with the support and funding from Health Education England South-East, the plans were set in motion to create the first Ultrasound Training Academy in the South-East Region.

A briefing paper was submitted to the Trust Investment Group for approval. Approval from TIG acknowledged the Trust’s support in the project as well as supporting the sonography workforce. This began the search for space that would accommodate the academy.

Frustratingly, COVID stopped all activities, however, with reflection, COVID gave us the time to plan accordingly for the Ultrasound Training Academy. Without the normal pressure of a time frame, it was an opportunity to find an ideal location as well as purchasing the required equipment befitting the academy.

The Ultrasound Training Academy – HEE (South-East) is based in the Princess Anne Hospital (University Hospital Southampton NHS FT). The advantages based within a hospital setting allowed the academy to follow the Trust’s governance as well as absorbing some of the capacity from the ultrasound department.

We have two ultrasound rooms and a dedicated space for simulation training. We have plans to create a third ultrasound room.


We have supported 24 trainees since opening in April 2021.

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