Five ways in which staff & students are assisting in the response to the pandemic – University of Warwick

“There are many ways in which universities can actively assist in the response to the pandemic.

Many of our staff and students have not just been asking how they can help but they have simply got on and done so. Here are just five of things those colleagues and students are doing now, some of whom are named below.

I want to give my personal thanks to each and every one of them and make particular note of what they have done to help. I hope very soon to be able to tell you about even more about the work of many more of our dedicated staff and students I these challenging times”

Professor Stuart Croft
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick

1) Donation of University Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the NHS

Many of Warwick’s research labs have suspended activity to support the Government’s instruction for all but critical workers to stay at home.

However, those labs held significant supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that would be better employed in the NHS rather than stored in those labs.

Neil Gillespie, a Senior Civil Engineering Technician in Warwick’s School of Engineering, and Alan Warwood Head of Facilities in Warwick’s Estates Office, pulled together a team of colleagues from across all our Estates team and our science departments to gather up that equipment and take it to the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust’s Coventry site.

So far they have supplied the following to the trust:

  • 155 FFP3 face masks
  • 470 over glasses
  • 400 safety glasses
  • 20,400 nitrile gloves of various sizes
  • 1,000 shoe covers

Pictured above, left-right: University of Warwick Chemistry stores manager Steve Dawson; Neil Gillespie, Senior Civil Engineering Technician School of Engineering; Alan Warwood Head of Facilities in Estates; & Kevin Murphy Chemistry Core technician with one of the loads of PPE supplies delivered to UCHW.

2) Manufacture of additional sanitiser for Midlands NHS

University of Warwick research chemists Professor Sébastien Perrier, Professor Dave Haddleton, Atty Shegiwal, Arkadios Marathianos, Qiao Song and Stephen Hall have come together to use Warwick’s laboratories, in the University of Warwick’s Department of Chemistry, to make 50 litres of sanitiser using a World Health Organisation (WHO) approved formula.

They are now working with colleagues in Warwick Medical School to distribute it to Midlands NHS organisations.

Professor Dave Haddleton said: “This is just the first batch. We are about to make a further 200 litres giving further support to Midlands NHS organisations.”

Pictured above: University of Warwick Department of Chemistry researchers on completion of their first batch of sanitiser – In background From left to right: Qiao Song, Arkadios Marathianos, Stephen Hall, Atty Shegiwal and Professor Dave Haddleton. Foreground Professor Seb Perrier.

3) Laboratories made available to support COVID-19 clinical laboratory work

Warwick Medical School owns and operates a set of Clinical Sciences Research Laboratories which are located in a building adjacent to the University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust’s Coventry hospital.

The University has now made all those laboratory facilities available to UHCW, with immediate effect, to help support the hospital’s COVID-19 clinical laboratory work.

4) Continuing scientific advice to Government

Professor Matt Keeling, and his team the University of Warwick’s Mathematics Institute, is continuing to advise the UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M), using his expertise in epidemiology modelling.

Learn more by clicking here.

Ivo Vlaev, Professor of Behavioural Science in Warwick Business School (WBS) is working with the Covid-19 Behavioural Change Unit for NHS England.

5) Warwick Medical School staff supporting the NHS

Dozens of Warwick Medical School research staff, who have joint appointments with NHS trusts, are now focusing entirely on their clinical roles within hospitals and GP practices across the Midlands.

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