BHP – the long-standing alliance between the University of Birmingham, University Hospitals Birmingham and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s – is pulling together on several fronts to fight the spread of COVID-19.
Professor David Adams, Director of BHP, explained: “In these unprecedented times, the Birmingham Health Partners alliance has allowed us to adapt and work in partnership in new and vital ways.
“Some of the things we are doing include boosting laboratory testing capacity, coordinating clinical trials of new interventions and providing practical support to NHS workers. In addition many of our academic clinicians are now working full time in the NHS fighting this disease.”
While our frontline NHS healthcare professionals lead clinical care for patients across the city, our activity includes:
- Working closely with Public Health England to increase capacity for COVID-19 testing in the region and helping to run one of the national testing hubs
- Developing and delivering new interventions for COVID-19 both locally and as part of National Institute for Health Research funded national consortia
- Leading a central hub, PIONEER, that is collecting electronic health data nationally to help us understand the progress of the pandemic and how it impacts on both COVID and non-COVID patients
- Leading the national drive to develop and test new ventilators that are so badly needed to save the worst affected patients
- Producing regular COVID-19 briefings based on the latest literature to support clinical colleagues and disseminate key information
- Working with other medical schools and the General Medical Council to bring forward qualification for our final year medical students allowing them to work as fully fledged doctors by the end of April
- Student nurses and physiotherapists are supporting the NHS with many third year student nurses taking further responsibility through the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s provisional register
- Two student groups have been set up on Facebook to leverage support for the NHS, as part of nationwide initiatives: ‘Birmingham Med Students For Action’ volunteering their time to join the frontline and ‘Birmingham Medical Students Helping Hands’ offering support to NHS workers by providing childcare, running errands
- Pharmacy students are working in community pharmacies and hospitals to ensure supplies of drugs are maintained
- The University is co-ordinating collections of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to donate to the NHS
- The University’s Edgbaston Park Hotel is providing accommodation for NHS staff and the hotel has now focused its entire operation on supporting these key workers
- One of the University’s nurseries is supporting key workers, caring for up to 30 children daily. Without this nursery provision, there would be up to 60 key workers unable to carry out critical front line work.