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In celebration of a workforce and the call to arms

Upskilling in action
Laura Chalmers is leading a collaborative project between RGU and NHS to deliver training for key staff in the fight against coronavirus. She believes that this is an example of the university at its very best, creating a workforce for right now, and tomorrow

Over recent weeks RGU has quietly and effectively been collaborating with the NHS to create an army of professionals who are stepping selflessly into new roles. Groups of dental nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, dieticians and speech and language therapists are embracing new learning in order to use their considerable talents and expertise in a time of crisis. These expert practitioners are redeploying back into the NHS to deliver care at frontline in different ways. Many will work in wards as healthcare support workers, delivering essential nursing care to the acutely unwell at a time of national crisis.

RGU and the NHS have worked closely and effectively for many years, with close collaborations in innovative working methods and the changing face of healthcare. As COVID19 threatens our way of life and those dearest to us, collaboration in its purest forms can be witnessed across the world, who knew that the Formula 1 elite could support the development of crucial ventilators? Different ways of working in a system under strain is evident, in every clinical area. At the very heart of this, are the people who are selflessly stepping forward and asking, what can I do to help? RGU is committed to leading and delivering excellent training for the NHS.

RGU has designed and is delivering training and education for the frontline redeployment of professionals across Grampian. Serving the community as never before, expert lecturers and clinicians are working seamlessly and tirelessly together to deliver training where it is most needed. Therefore, redeployed healthcare professionals are trained and ward ready to step into different roles that will make the world of difference to patients, multidisciplinary teams and to the success of the NHS during the COVID19 era.

Students nurses are voluntarily stepping into clinical practice in frontline areas supported by RGU academic staff, where they are in daily contact with mentors and lecturers who are guiding and supporting their phenomenal contribution at this time. Never has an emerging workforce more expertly worked collaboratively, jumping barriers and obstacles to make their contribution invaluable and so gratefully received. At a time when working from home is the norm, RGU staff are at the coal face, teaching online, providing clinical guidance and pastoral support to many students who are in hospitals caring for patients instead of going home and staying with their closest family.

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.

This is not just community payback, this is RGU at its best, creating the workforce for right now and for tomorrow.

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