Please cite this paper as: Ayres-de-Campos D, Deering S, Siassakos D. Sustaining simulation training programmes – experience from maternity care. BJOG 2011;118 (Suppl. 3): 22–26.
There is little scientific evidence to support the majority of simulation-based maternity training programmes, but some characteristics appear to be associated with sustainability. Among these are a clear institutional-level commitment to the course, strong leadership in course organisation, a curriculum relevant to clinical practice, a nonthreatening learning environment, the establishment of multiprofessional training and the use of simulators appropriate to the learning objectives. There is still some debate on whether simulation-based sessions should be carried out in dedicated training time outside normal working hours or in ad-hoc drills that are run during clinical sessions, whether they should be located in clinical areas, simulation centres, or both, and whether or not they should include standardised generic teamwork training sessions. In this review, we discuss the main characteristics that appear to make a simulation-based training programme a sustainable initiative.