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RGU working with NHS to train staff for COVID19 crisis

Tuesday 07 April 2020

RGU clinical skills
RGU is working closely with NHS Grampian to deliver a rolling programme of training which will equip hundreds of key NHS staff with critical skills to support the battle against COVID-19 in the region.

Specifically, the project will look at the upskilling of staff to be redeployed from their existing roles, which vary from dentistry to occupational health, into frontline work and across many different supporting roles.

The training, which began last week and will have turned round 180 upskilled staff by the end of this week, employs a mixture of digital and face to face learning, focused on fundamental nursing care as well as the surveillance and care of the acutely unwell.

Much of the face to face teaching has been carried out in RGU’s Clinical Skills Centre, a purpose-built teaching and training facility which is designed to allow healthcare professionals to practice clinical skills in a safe but realistic environment.

A further programme of training is also being delivered to complement the existing skills of groups of senior specialist nurses as they too step into different roles to work with the most in need across Grampian.

RGU already collaborates with the NHS on a number of levels and is one of the largest providers of allied health professionals for the region.

Leading the collaboration from RGU is Strategic Lead for Collaborative Practice and registered nurse, Laura Chalmers, who has a background in critical care.

“This is a very important project which sees RGU supporting the NHS and the dedicated and talented staff who are there on the frontline, day in day out, delivering high quality effective care,” she commented.

“The team has very quickly delivered a bank of training resources, including multimedia and digital content, which can be used for a wide range of allied health professions, as well as nurses and doctors.

“We have also designed and are delivering training for those from roles like dental nursing, have come into our clinical skills facilities, undergone training and been redeployed the following day to areas where they are most needed.

“We have already seen the first cohort of staff go through training and have quickly been redeployed both on the frontline and also in other supporting roles, which are equally as important as they free up some of the more experienced staff.

“This is a huge change for many of the staff we are upskilling, but we are seeing a willingness and positive attitude to get the job done and to care for patients.”

Jane Ewen, Chief Nurse, Practice Education & Development at NHS Grampian, added: “This has been a great example of collaborative work which is playing a key role in supporting and preparing the workforce at this time of unprecedented change. The support and flexibility of our university partner continues to be appreciated.”

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