The University of Stirling has sent a number of beds to Scotland’s new temporary critical care hospital, set up to support the national coronavirus (COVID-19) response.
Seven beds – normally used during student nursing courses – have been loaned to the NHS Louisa Jordan facility, located at the Scottish Events Campus in Glasgow.
The £43 million hospital has been created in a matter of weeks thanks to the efforts of contractors and NHS staff from across the country and now stands ready to treat COVID-19 patients, should it be required.
As the beds were transferred to the new facility today [Wednesday 22 April], almost 400 of the University’s student nurses – and nine clinically-trained staff – were preparing to join the NHS to bolster the frontline. Most of the student nurses will be placed in NHS facilities from Monday 27 April.
Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport
It was great to see the NHS Louisa Jordan was completed at the beginning of this week – and I am pleased that we’re able to provide beds to help support this effort. Of course, we hope that measures already in place will mean that this hospital never has to be used.
Professor Jayne Donaldson, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport at Stirling, said: “Our healthcare system is under unprecedented pressure – and we are prepared to do whatever we can to support our NHS workers and make a difference to the COVID-19 response.
“It was great to see the NHS Louisa Jordan was completed at the beginning of this week – and I am pleased that we’re able to provide beds to help support this effort. Of course, we hope that measures already in place will mean that this hospital never has to be used.”
She added: “Once again, I would like to thank all of our talented students and staff – and our wider NHS family – for their phenomenal response to this pandemic crisis.”
The temporary hospital – named after Glasgow-born First World War nurse Sister Louisa Jordan – has an initial capacity for 300 patients, but can be expanded to more than 1,000 beds.
Jill Young, Chief Executive of the NHS Louisa Jordan, said: “Our contractors and NHS staff on site have been working around the clock to make sure we are ready to support the NHS in Scotland.
“During this time, the outpouring of support and collaboration we have received from NHS Boards and organisations across the country has been absolutely incredible. This equipment will play a vital role in helping ensure that every member of staff has all the training and support they need to deliver the highest possible standard of care, if required.
“On behalf of the entire team, I would like to say a sincere and heart felt thank you.”
Universities across the UK have acted quickly to support the national response to the pandemic by providing much-needed equipment, facilities and staff; conducting COVID-19 testing and vital medical research into a possible vaccine; and exploring ways to support people’s health and wellbeing during this difficult time.
Earlier this month, an army of University of Stirling staff and student nurses answered the call to provide frontline support to NHS workers – efforts that were celebrated across Scotland, including by politicians in the Scottish Parliament.
In a motion tabled at Holyrood, Keith Brown MSP asked Parliament to recognise the Stirling nurses’ “commitment to serving their communities and their dedication to tackle the biggest challenge that people have faced in their lifetimes”. He added that they were an “inspiring example of the dedication and public service shown by NHS workers across Scotland” and would “make a significant contribution to nationwide efforts with NHS colleagues”.
In recent weeks, the University has donated 3D printers to aid the production of personal protective equipment; its experts have been delivering potentially life-saving advice to social workers tackling the pandemic; students have been offering educational support to school pupils and parents in the absence of classes; and Stirling Sports Union clubs have raised hundreds of pounds for the United Nations Foundation.