Complete IT/AV Solution

The Brief

The University of Northampton re-opened their Competency Test Centre at a new site that offers a state-of-the-art facility for candidates sitting the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) Part 2 of the overseas test of competence.

Nurses and Midwives who completed their training outside of the EU or EEA are able to undertake an Objective Structure Clinical Examination (OSCE) before they can be eligible to join the NMC register. This is a practical test to ensure that nurses’ skills are assessed in a robust and objective way, in order to protect the public.

With an estimated shortage of 20,000 nurses in the NHS and 96% of hospitals reporting a shortage of nurses and midwives, the NHS has increasingly had to rely on recruiting nurses from abroad. Last year more than a quarter of new recruits came from overseas. To cope with this shortage of UK and EU trained nurses, more that 30,000 have undertaken the NMC’s Test of Competence for nurses and midwives at the University of Northampton since 2014. The growing demand for Competency Testing completely outstripped supply, and the University of Northampton reinvested to upgrade the former facility to a new 18 bay examination facility at their Innovation Centre.

Adaptive IT was contracted by Mineral Star Construction & Lawrence Electrical to fit out the Test Centre to ensure examinations can be conducted competently and impartially.

The Challenge

Based on the previous success of Adaptive’s solution at the original UoN facility opened in 2014, after initial consultation with major stakeholders and end users the scope of the project was to provide:

  • Structured Cabling throughout the building for all required networkable equipment such as Wi-Fi, Door Access Control and CCTV.
  • An IP based system to record all Audio and Video from NMC exams to be controlled by the in-room assessor.
  • Timing solution so that the remaining time during an exam can be seen by candidates with start/stop controlled by the in-room assessor.
  • Large Format Display screens and AV system so live and recorded exam footage can be seen by examiners.
  • Ceiling mounted Digital Signage solution for reception area to display information and other relevant content to the waiting room area.
Adaptive IT's Solution

Structured Cabling
Emanating from an existing basement location we installed a solution consisting of approx. 150 Cat6 Data outlets, a 39U satellite data cabinet, plus 8 Core OM4 fibre and 50 pair CW1308 links between the two locations. All outlets were presented as required in ceiling voids, floor boxes and dado positions.

Timing Solutions
All examinations are conducted within struct time limitations. Students are given five minutes to read a brief and must then act out a series of six clinical scenarios which nurses and midwives are likely to encounter when they assess, plan, carry out and evaluate care for patients. Each of the scenarios must be completed within a strict 15 minute window.

We decided that Bodet’s Style 5S LED digital clocks would provide a great solution. The neat black casing with green LED display fits in well with the contemporary style of the Innovation Centre. The 5cm LED display is easy to read and can be adjusted for brightness depending on the lighting conditions. From a practical perspective, the clocks can display time of day or be used as accurate countdown times, and can be paused or reset easily.

A Style LED clock was fitted in each of the 18 examination stations so that examinees can see clearly how much time they have left to complete each test. The Competency Test Centre also has two invigilator stations, each monitoring nine of the examination stations. The time displayed at each station is mirrored by a synchronised duplicate clock in the invigilator centre so they can verify the examinations are completed competently and within the time limit.

Camera, Audio & Recording Solution
Each of the 18 Test ‘stations’ were fitted with 2x High end Full HD Avigilon IP Cameras and a ceiling mounted omni-directional mic so each examination can be recorded for quality assurance purposes or evidencing should the test result be challenged. All cameras record back to a central NVR unit – all footage and live feeds can be viewed via web interface by any staff with correct password credential access.

AV for QA & Moderating Room
2x 65″ Panasonic LED screens were wall mounted and teamed with an Extron switching solution to allow live real-time or recorded exam footage to be viewed in large display format. Visitors to the room bringing their own HD display device such as laptops were given connection access via a connection hub to both screens also creating a versatile presentation space for the facility.

Digital Signage
A 40″ UHD ceiling mounted screen and BrightSign Digital Player were installed into the reception area. All initial content for display was created and full training given to staff so full content management could be undertaken by the site going forward.

Although it has only just opened, this brand new facility at the University of Northampton is running at full capacity, and is playing an important role helping to ensure that every nurse and midwife has the professional skills to provide the highest quality of care for the ever-growing number of patients.

Jonathan White

Project Manager, Adaptive IT Solutions

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