UHI nursing and midwifery students give NHS a helping hand

Nursing students in Stornaway

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Students and staff from across the University of the Highlands and Islands have been lending their skills and resources to support the NHS.

More than 120 nursing and midwifery students have started their final placements early to help bolster the NHS workforce.

They are being employed as healthcare workers by NHS Highland and NHS Western Isles to contribute to the COVID-19 response. The university has also set up secondment arrangements with the organisation so that nursing and midwifery staff can also work in clinical posts.

Lews Castle College UHI in Stornoway is among the UHI campuses which have donated equipment including gloves, hand sanitiser and aprons to healthcare providers across the region.

Chemicals from the university’s School of Health, Social Care and Life Science have been gifted to the NHS to help with coronavirus testing.

Several university partners have been supporting the production of visors. Perth College UHI’s creative industries department created a design for 3D printers, while West Highland College UHI and Argyll College UHI have donated acetate sheets used to create visors.

Professor Crichton Lang, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands, said: ‘In addition to supporting our students and staff across the university partnership to continue their studies and day to day work, we are of course keen to do all we can to help with the management of the wider impact of the current COVID-19 epidemic on people’s lives.

‘I have huge appreciation for the efforts of everyone who is contributing, but especially to those students and staff who are engaging at the front line of health and social care.’

The university partnership has also offered vehicles, buildings, services and accommodation to support key workers across the Highlands and Islands.

Heidi May, NHS Highland’s board nurse director, added: ‘We are extraordinarily grateful to the students coming to work alongside their NHS colleagues in caring for patients as part of the COVID-19 effort. Their skills and knowledge will help us make the difference for patients and their loved ones during this unprecedented time.’