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University of Leicester contributes essentials and equipment to NHS

As part of its drive to support the NHS during coronavirus pandemic, the University of Leicester has donated thousands of essential items for hospital staff, such as masks, disposable aprons, handwash, sanitiser and gloves, and lent medical equipment worth £100,000 to the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Laboratories were cleared to donate vital items needed by frontline hospital staff, particularly personal protective equipment (PPE) items, which are in increasingly short supply within the NHS. Thousands of items were donated from the University to the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL), to be used at the Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI), and the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust which provides mental health, learning disability and community health services across the county.

In addition, the University’s Leicester Precision Medicine Institute (LPMI) has lent £100,000 worth of liquid handling equipment (Viaflo Assist, Viaflo 96 and twelve Viaflo multichannel pipettes) to the Leicester Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory to assist with processing COVID-19 diagnostic samples.

The University of Leicester is also encouraging staff and students to volunteer and support the national response to COVID-19. Those interested can register on a specially created database, from where they may be asked to work as voluntary healthcare assistants, porters, secretaries and more.

Speaking today, Professor Philip Baker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Life Sciences, Dean of Medicine said: “The University of Leicester is proud to be doing all it can to support the vital work of our NHS colleagues during this unprecedented time of national need.

“The NHS has an overwhelming job in front of it - our dedicated staff and students are determined to put the care of patients first and help in whatever capacity they can. This is about being prepared, organised and trained to support where we can.”

The University will act as a lynchpin between the NHS and the volunteers helping to alleviate any administrative pressures from the health service and rapidly provide suitable candidates as the need arises.

Training and graduating medical students will be able to progress as planned and serve as newly qualified doctors at the front line of the NHS. In addition, there will be opportunities for medical and allied health students to undertake training to become health care assistants, who can then be called upon as needed.

Dr Megan Evans is Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Leicester and Honorary Public Health Registrar who holds a joint position between both. In her capacity as a public health doctor, Megan has been supporting the regional and national response to COVID19.

She said: “As we know, the situation is rapidly evolving, and I was recently seconded to Public Health England Colindale to support the national response centre there. I spent two weeks in the Clinical and Epidemiology Cells, contributing to national preparedness plans and immediate public health responses.”

Megan’s role in this capacity has involved managing complex clinical enquiries and undertaking core epidemiological functions. She continues to support the regional public health response here in the East Midlands and will be spending a day a week with the COVID-19 response centre at Public Health England East Midlands.

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