Thousands of Keele-trained medics and nurses in the NHS

More than 5,000 healthcare workers currently on the NHS frontline were educated at Keele University, supported by hundreds of final year students

More than 5,000 nurses currently working on the healthcare frontline were educated at Keele University, with over 120 final year students from the School of Nursing and Midwifery stepping up to help the NHS through the current outbreak by undertaking an extended placement in line with Health Education England guidance.

5,000 Keele-trained nurses in the NHS They have been joined by in excess of 150 students from the School of Medicine who have volunteered for a variety of activities to support the public. Students in the early years of their medical studies have taken part in local schemes to support people isolated by the outbreak, help with childcare, and deliver medicines or shopping, whilst students in Year 4 have taken up medical assistant positions within our local hospital trusts. In these positions, under appropriate supervision, they have helped in frontline healthcare, performing tasks such as taking blood and setting up drips.

The University was able to accelerate the graduation of final year students in response to a national request, so that those wishing to could join the medical workforce three months earlier than usual. To date, more than 80 new Keele medical graduates have taken up positions as interim Foundation Year 1 Doctors, mainly in acute trusts in Staffordshire and Shropshire. A further 21 have chosen to take Medical Assistant roles locally. The decision of so many students to contribute reflects their own sense of social responsibility which typifies the ethos at Keele University School of Medicine.

Mark Radford, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for Health Education England and Deputy CNO, has praised Keele's nursing staff and students for choosing to work alongside NHS and social care practitioners in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  In a video message, available below, he said:

“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.”