Keele Nursing students praised for joining NHS frontline services

The Health Education England Chief Nurse has thanked Keele’s nursing students for choosing to work alongside NHS and social care practitioners in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Keele University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery has had over 120 final year students step up to help the NHS through the current outbreak by undertaking an extended placement in line with Health Education England guidance.

Mark Radford, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for Health Education England and Deputy CNO, has praised Keele staff and students in a video message (below) he sent to the School of Nursing and Midwifery, saying: “We are currently in one of the most significant health care emergencies across the globe and to hit the UK in many generations, and now more than ever is the time we need all of the skills from our healthcare practitioners up and down the country to save lives.

“And now importantly our students, including those at Keele University, have opted in to support and staff some of our organisations in response to Covid-19. I want to say a massive thank you to the staff and students at Keele University, to those that have opted in and those who are going to be working alongside our NHS and social care colleagues in response to this pandemic. I also recognise this has been a really difficult choice for many students and some haven’t been able to opt-in for health reasons and also importantly to protect their families, you are really valued, all of you, in this response.

“I want to say a massive thank you on behalf of the board and all of the executives at Health Education England, and our colleagues across the NHS who you will be joining to support in response to this pandemic emergency. I wish you luck in your extended placement and I very much value you being part of the response to this national emergency. Thank you very much.”

Professor Patricia Owen, Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “We are very grateful to Mark for lending his support to our students in this way. We are immensely proud of all of our students studying nursing and midwifery at Keele, in this time of the global pandemic. In this, the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, the way our students are managing to continue with their programmes and support the NHS is inspiring. They are real stars.”

The nursing response is part of Keele’s wider effort to support the nation during the coronavirus outbreak including the early graduation of 111 Keele Medicine students to join the NHS frontline, faculties donating equipment and supplies to local NHS facilities, students volunteering to help the local community and Pharmacy academics are making hand sanitiser on campus to help protect key workers, and much more.