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Two hundred newly qualified nurses from DMU have been fast-tracked to join the NHS and provide vital support during the coronavirus pandemic
Academic staff in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences speeded up the registration process for adult nursing, child nursing, mental health nursing and midwifery final year students.
The staff arranged an extraordinary exam board to ensure that marking could be done two months earlier than normal – ensuring the students qualified and received official paperwork needed for them to work in the NHS.
As hospitals across the UK are reporting frontline staff running short of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), DMU’s Estates team has collaborated with the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences to donate several crates of disposable masks, gloves, aprons and visors to the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.
The PPE is usually stocked at DMU for students studying medical sciences including Nursing and Midwifery. With the university being placed in lockdown and students now studying remotely it was decided to donate the equipment at no cost to the NHS.
Thousands of 3D-printed face shields are also being produced by DMU to help hospitals across the city protect their staff against the coronavirus.
The single-use face shields, which will be donated to University Hospitals Leicester (UHL), have been manufactured to meet minimum specification of NHS-approved standards, using a 3D-printed frame and other components to provide a high level of protection and ensure a comfortable fit for the wearer.
Dr Karthikeyan Kandan, Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at DMU, is leading the project alongside colleague Dr Farukh Farukh, also a Senior Lecturer at the university's School of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
The university has converted sports facility The Watershed off Upperton Road, Leicester, into a regional outlet for national aid organisation 3D Crowd UK, which plugs gaps in the traditional PPE supply chain. Over the next few days orders for 3,000 visors will be sent to care homes, hospitals and health workers.
Face shields and visors printed to NHS standard will be sent to hospitals, care homes and health workers around Leicestershire from the base, one of five in the East Midlands to be distribution hubs for the kit.
Volunteers, co-ordinated by DMU Local public engagement team, are sorting, sterilising and packing the donations which are then sent to health workers around the county.
They will also be packing medical scrubs designed and made by technicians and lecturers at DMU’s Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities, and face shields printed by Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Media (CEM) both destined for Leicester’s hospitals.
An army of around 1,500 student nurses are on placement in the East Midlands region keeping hospitals and clinical care teams going while frontline staff deal with the COVID-19 patients.
The majority are working on the wards to free up more experienced nurses to support emergency cases.
Following a call-out for extra cleaners from University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL), five DMU cleaning staff have stepped forward to help support the NHS in their hour of need.
Leicester's hospitals have thanked the staff and said 'they are a credit to the university'.
The group are set to help to keep wards clean and assist with administration tasks while the hospital deals with the increase in patients during the COVID-19 crisis.
We are offering free parking in our main car park for University Hospital of Leicester (UHL) workers.
The car park is a few hundred yards from Leicester Royal Infirmary and available 24/7 meaning nurses, doctors and other UHL staff are not struggling to find somewhere to leave their car, no matter what time of the day and night they are working.
If you are a UHL worker and want to have access to the car park you must have an authorised pass to show to the DMU security team.
For further details about how to apply for a pass please contact Ruth Ward, Travelwise Manager, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The DMU Print Centre has produced 1,600 handbooks for NHS staff who are working at the Leicester Royal Infirmary during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing useful information and guidance about the hospital’s facilities.
The team has also printed Nursing and Midwifery Practice Books for student midwives who are in their final year at DMU, to help them with their studies during this time.
Student pharmacists are volunteering their expertise to support under-pressure pharmacies struggling to cope as the coronavirus takes hold.
The Pharmacy team at DMU is collating requests from local chemists and posting them to students via DMU’s Blackboard intranet, who can then volunteer. They have placed students with chemists across the East Midlands region.
Health professionals who currently work in DMU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and the School of Pharmacy are preparing to volunteer their services and re-join the NHS and help the fight against COVID-19.
Dr Chris Whitney Cooper, DMU’s Head of Nursing and Midwifery, said: "We joined the health service to help others and that never leaves you."
Final-year Graphic Design (Illustration) students Katie Pearce and Fiona Morris were approached by their tutor to lead on the project, following the success of the first colouring book they released during lockdown with a small group of friends on their course.
This time the pair put a call-out on Instagram and received dozens of illustrations, settling on 39 different designs submitted by students, staff and graduates. The booklet is available to download for a discretionary donation, with all proceeds going to the Leicester Hospitals Trust.
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