Health and care staff have been benefitting from clinical skills refresher training closer to their place of work thanks to the CLIC Clinical Skills team and MELISSA.

MELISSA, a training and simulation bus based in the North East and North Cumbria, has been traveling around our local area, supporting the Clinical Skills team in providing convenient access to refresher training in:

  • Venepuncture
  • Cannulation
  • Catheterisation – male, female & supra-pubic
  • Central Venous Access Devices (CVAD) – routine care & maintenance

The training is available to staff who practice clinical skills regularly, and offers the opportunity for them to refresh their knowledge and technique. After completing their e-learning, individuals can #GetOnBoard the MELISSA bus and achieve competency in a particular area. This involves undertaking a simulated observation under the expert guidance of one of North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust’s (NCIC) Practice Development Facilitators.  

Clare Martindale, Team Lead from the Upper Eden Community team, said: “Coming to site is definitely useful. It’s good to have all the equipment and hands-on opportunity locally.”

Linda Graham, who is Team Lead at Penrith Community team and hosted the bus in December 2021, said: “It’s much more accessible for clinical updates, and avoids time spent traveling for staff (often longer than the actual training).”

This visit to Linda’s team at Penrith Community Hospital was hugely successful, with a total of 47 competencies signed-off in just one afternoon.

A delegate who attended on the day said: “Fabulous update on essential DN skills thanks to CLIC and the MELISSA bus. Thank you all from a happy nurse.”

Ensuring that staff are up-to-date with their clinical skills supports our health and care system with the vision of delivering the highest quality care for patients and people who use our services.

Debbie Sargent, Practice Development Lead for Clinical Skills, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many local health and care colleagues taking up the opportunity to complete their clinical skills refresher training close to their place of work. The last two years have been incredibly difficult due to the pandemic, and I’d like to think that this offer helps make achieving competency more convenient for staff. I hope that individuals and teams continue to join us in making use of MELISSA as a fantastic resource.”

The Clinical Skills team and MELISSA will be continuing to bring simulation training to the region during 2022. Here’s where they are heading to next:

  • Wigton Community Hospital, Tuesday 15 March 2022
  • Cumberland Infirmary, Monday 9 to Friday 13 May 2022 (for Staff Development Week)

Please contact for more information on either of the above.

For access to other clinical skills training, please visit 

For further details about the MELISSA bus, please visit, email, or call 07967 811 519. You can also follow MELISSA on Facebook and Twitter – just search “MadeinMELISSA”.