Update to staff - 23 March 2020
I wanted to write to you to let you know some of the fantastic efforts that are being made by our community, particularly those based within the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, to throw their weight behind supporting the NHS in its response to Covid-19.
All clinical academics are now prioritising clinical care, with NHS Grampian utilising them based on where they can be most effective. Administrative and technical staff are helping to increase NHS Grampian’s capacity for Covid-19 testing.
In addition, with guidance from the General Medical Council, we have brought forward the graduation date for our final year medical students who have completed the necessary academic requirements so that they can be available to respond to the needs of the NHS. Many other students from health care, biomedical sciences and other areas have come forward to assist wherever they are required.
It is fair to say we have been inundated with staff and students offering to volunteer in any capacity – a true testament to the can-do spirit and sense of community that we all share.
The Suttie Centre is being repurposed for training – including correct face fitting of masks and the briefing of retired staff who are returning to the NHS to help deal with the impact of coronavirus. We have also opened up our car parks on the Foresterhill site to increase capacity for NHS staff and patients.
Our Public Health experts are assisting in scenario modelling - assisting the NHS to prepare to respond to the rapidly evolving situation. Looking forward, there may be opportunities for researchers to answer emerging questions, and our experts may be able to work with NHS Research & Development to fast-track relevant Covid-19 research.
Meanwhile, the University-based Aberdeen Fertility Centre will continue to support clinical care in other areas by redeploying ten nurses as required and freeing up medical staff to undertake shifts in emergency obstetrics and gynaecology. Laboratory staff will also be redeployed in the coming weeks, while the administrative team may also be called upon for support in other parts of the hospital.
It is through steps like those outlined above, along with adhering to the general advice coming to us from the Government and NHS, that we as a University community can make a positive difference to the response to coronavirus. As we look to the days and weeks ahead let's continue to make a difference in whichever way we can, individually and collectively.
Professor Siladitya Bhattacharya
Head of School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition