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MDX’s health and sport centre of excellence officially open

West Stand at StoneX Stadium, home of the Saracens, will provide specialist skills training in sports science, nursing and midwifery and natural sciences

The wait is over - after ten years in the making, the pioneering four-floor West Stand complex is officially open.

More than 100 guests attended the launch event on Wednesday, which included speeches from MDX Vice Chancellor Professor Nic Beech and MDX alumna Dr Chris Caldwell, Chief Nurse of the North London Integrated Care board.

Eighteen months ago MDX developed a partnership with Saracens Rugby Club and London Borough of Barnet, which has funded this project through a loan agreement alongside investment in specialist facilities and fitting out the site by the University.

The result is spectacular.

Dr Caldwell said: "The West Stand is such a great achievement and these facilities will make a real difference to all of those who study and work here.

"The technology is truly revolutionary.

"The West Stand personifies MDX's approach, it is about collaboration, innovation and preparing people to achieve success in the real world."

The space brings together MDX’s commitments to Health and Wellbeing, Entrepreneurship and Creativity, and Sustainability while its ethos of creating knowledge and putting it in to action is at the heart of the university’s approach to study.

Situated near the University’s main campus in Hendon, North London, the West Stand project is game-changing for staff and students alike because it links classroom theory with professional skills in a realistic and safe environment for teaching.

Students will be able to apply what they learn to the expertise they need as professionals by taking part in realistic situations that mirror what they'll find on placement or in the workplace.

This means midwifery students will have the opportunity to practice delivering babies and sports performance analysis students will learn how to monitor athletes.

Revolutionary technology will be used to create simulations, including virtual and augmented reality.

Professor Beech said that this use of technology is rare in UK universities.

He said: “The West Stand brings together three of our great strengths at Middlesex: our unequalled facilities, our focus on professional expertise and our connections with industry.

“This facility is already making a major difference to the lives of students and the community.

"We have made it possible for our sports students to learn inside an elite sports club and our healthcare students to learn from academics who work regularly in the NHS. Importantly, the West Stand space is enabling synergies between Nursing and Midwifery, Natural Sciences and Sports Science too.

“This is the result of our partnership with Saracens and our collaborations with the NHS and other professional organisations.”

New facilities for the London Sport Institute will include a biometrics room, strength and conditioning suite, human performance lab, cognition labs, health and injury clinic and clinical therapy rooms.

A bespoke Sports Performance Analysis suite will give students access to specialist software.

Students will have greater opportunities to engage with professional, academy and community athletes within a live working sport facility as they study in technologically advanced sport science labs.

Dr Rhonda Cohen, Head of the LSI, said: “The West Stand development will add to our reputation as one of the UK’s leading universities for Sports Science, Nursing and Midwifery and Natural Sciences while continuing to add excellence to an already established and successful curriculum.

“Students will have greater opportunities to study in technologically advanced learning environments and engage with professionals in the truly unique setting of a top flight professional rugby club.

“We’re so excited about the new facilities- practitioners and students will be empowered to teach, consult, and pursue cutting‐edge research.”

The impressive London Sports Institute facilities were featured on BBC London Sport Show on November 29, 2022.

Five staff- Dr Rhonda Cohen, Dr Laura Wilson, Dr Anthony Turner, Jon Cree and Steve Williams- spoke at length about their work and research to Emma Jones.

Listen to the interviews here:

The health skills rooms and simulation rooms will be connected by video link enabling activities to be accessed globally.

Meanwhile, industry-leading natural science facilities include an altitude chamber, phlebotomy room, dietetics sensory analysis lab, neurophysiology/neuroscience practical and research analysis labs, audiology diagnostics/analysis lab, cardiology practical lab and cardiology simulation suite.

This includes a heartworks system, together with a multi-disciplinary lab to support medical physiology teaching and research. The space has been fully equipped with Electrocardiography (ECG), Electroencephalography (EEG) recording devices, Electromyography (EMG) / Nerve Conduction Study (NCS) systems, otoscopy, tympanometry, and audiometry equipment, lung function and blood analyser.

The West Stand will bring significant opportunities for continued professional development with the NHS and private practice in cardiology, audiology and neurophysiology.

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