By Chloé Meley
As the coronavirus crisis persists in the UK, the University is playing its part in the national fight against Covid-19. Most notably, nursing, midwifery and paramedic students, as well as Health Sciences staff, have been volunteering on the frontlines. The facilities at the School of Health Sciences have also been made available for training, in order to bring up to date former NHS staff returning to help, prepare Allied Health Professionals who are taking up roles as Health Care Assistants, and improve the skills of current NHS staff. Hospital beds normally used for teaching purposes and oxygen machines – essential resources that have been notoriously lacking across the country – have also been loaned to the Royal Surrey County Hospital. In addition to that, crucial protective equipment such as gowns, aprons, scrubs, gloves, visors and goggles have been supplied to the hospital.
Appleseed, the University’s printing outlet, has also been printing and delivering medical forms to Royal Surrey, whose onsite pharmacy was running low on those indispensable documents. Students and staff from the School of Computer Sciences are helping as well, assisting with the maintenance and improvement of IT services at the hospital.
The University is also providing accommodation to local NHS workers on Manor Park campus, where a housing block was cleared for that purpose and in accordance with safety regulations to ensure no staff or students would be endangered as a result. Office space has also been made available in the Kate Granger building for Royal Surrey staff, which comes in addition to the network lines that had been installed between the University’s Leggett Building and Royal Surrey, allowing staff to relocate from the high-risk areas of the hospital where their offices are normally situated.
After the University was contacted on social media by Dapdune GP Surgery, which was encountering a shortage of face masks, it was announced that some of the protective visors currently being 3D printed by the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences will be sent to the surgery. These visors are also being delivered to Royal Surrey, after the hospital tested and approved the equipment, subsequently asking the University to scale up production.