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University offers further support in the fight against coronavirus

Teesside University’s School of Health & Life Sciences is running a series of webinars on developing critical care skills for health care staff to prepare them for frontline care as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In addition, the school has also donated a number of tablets and mobile devices to health trusts to enable people in palliative care to communicate with relatives and loved ones.

This latest support follow the news last month that the University’s National Horizons Centre was lending state-of-the-art analytical equipment to the NHS to enable testing for the virus to be stepped up.

The School of Health & Life Sciences is delivering two webinars in response to a request from Health Education England for higher education institutions to deliver extra training to health care staff. They will focus on managing ventilated patients within a critical care environment and essential critical care skills.

Each webinar is aimed at health care staff who have limited experience in these fields and will be delivered by Susy Russell, an experienced critical care nurse with more than 16 years’ experience leading critical care education.

Linda Nelson, associate dean (enterprise and business engagement) in the School of Health & Life Sciences [pictured] said: “It is vital that, if we are to succeed in the fight against the coronavirus, that organisations must come together and work in partnership.

“As an organisation we will continue to do whatever we can to support our partners in health and social care as they continue to take on the heroic task of caring for those who have been affected by the virus.

“Therefore we are delighted to build upon our longstanding relationship with Health Education England and lend our expertise to upskill healthcare staff with the vital skills that they will need to deliver the excellent standard of care for which the NHS is justly renowned.”

Following a request from County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, the School has also donated 14 tablets to enable palliative care patients to keep in contact with friends and family while they are in isolation and is reaching out to other local NHS trusts to see if they are in similar need.

Michelle Dickson, School of Health & Life Sciences Registrar, added: “The ability to communicate with loved ones at such a critical time is so important for both patients and their families. We had a number of older devices which were no longer suitable for our needs so we were all too happy to donate them to the trust and hope that they can bring a measure of comfort to those who need them.”