HISTORY OF VIMAS
The Victory Institue for Minimal Access Surgery (VIMAS) was founded and opened in October 2010 in the Postgraduate Centre, St Mary's Hospital, Portsmouth. This was established by Portsmouth surgeons as a skills simulation centre to train future surgeons in basic and advanced laparoscopic skills. We recognised the need for simulation with the reduced training hours and opportunities today. With generous support from charitable organisations like the Dinwoodie Trust and Rocky Appeal and corporate sponsorship from Karl Storz Uk, Ethicon Endosurgery, Covidien, Olympus and Fuji, we were able to equip the centre and train surgical teams from UK and around the world through dedicated masterclasses and workshops including live links from Portsmouth Hospital theatres and hands-on experience. The guiding principle was to offer training free or at a competitive rate with expert faculty to offer personal teaching to small groups.
VIMAS becomes VIMARS
When St Mary's Hospital closed in 2012 we had to find a new home for VIMAS. This was found in the QuAD Centre in the grounds of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and after planning and building works in 2013-14 we finally had a new centre which we started to equip and use in October 2014. The Centre has had a name change to VIMARS (Victory Institute for Minimal Access and Robotic Surgery) recognising Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust as the first multidisciplinary robotic surgical training centre in the UK. We have also expanded the Centre to include an Endoscopic Surgical Training Centre under Professor Bhandari, offering training in advanced endoscopic resection and a School of Radiology under Dr Antony Higginson. We are now part of the Portsmouth Medical Simulation Centre with the TEAMS (Training Education and Assessment by Medical Simulation) Training Centre in the same building. This will offer us the exciting prospect of innovative multidisciplinary training for theatre and emergency teams.