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Utilising serious games to develop the decision making skills of foundation doctors

A project run in University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Related themes

  • Improving training programmes and pathways


Serious gaming (SG) is a new educational development area within medicine. Virtual environments have been used to improve the decision making skills of undergraduate medical students and can be used as innovative tools for the delivery of postgraduate education to enable staff to practice decision making virtually, in different clinical scenarios.
This project saw the development of a DVD based video game to support the decision making by foundation doctors. The game was based on pre-recorded film clips following a clear storyline from the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) Systematic Training in Acute Illness Recognition and Treatment (START) surgery course modules.

Project objectives

  • Develop a serious game to support decision making by foundation doctors when managing sick or potentially unwell surgical patients, measured by the ability to create the game
  • Develop an infrastructure for similar future projects
  • Measure the value of the game to first year foundation doctors by participant feedback and semi-structured interviews

Who was involved

Higher surgical trainees and foundation trainees were involved in the project design, development, videoing and game design. Professional actors were involved in the filming and The Royal College of Surgeons was involved in producing the evaluation and outcome measures for the project.


This project is still underway and is due to be complete during Summer 2015.  A toolkit will be made available shortly after the project is closed.


Your organisation may have its own materials and templates that you can use or you may find the NHS Improving Quality (NHS IQ) learning handbook useful too.

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