The role of medical students in tackling COVID-19

1 May 2020

Jenny Hein, Chair of Swansea University GP Society:

Childcare for NHS workers

At the risk of stating the obvious, I don’t think any of us quite envisaged the situation we are now facing when we enrolled at the Medical School.

Our expectations of a career in health care changed, as did our day to day experience of university with classes halted and exams postponed.

What I and my classmates did know for certain was that we wanted to find a way to contribute to the massive effort to tackle Covid-19.

We set up an emergency relief childcare scheme for NHS workers struggling to find childcare due to the COVID-19 crisis. Over 150 volunteers signed up to the scheme and to date we’ve been able to provide childcare cover for in excess of 50 shifts by NHS workers.

Medical students in new roles

Around half of all medical students across all years have also started in new roles the Medical School has created in collaboration with Swansea Bay University Health Board to help out on the wards and in the community.

These are positions we can take on in the hospitals similar to a health care assistant and in the community working with some additional responsibilities.

In addition, others are helping out with charities such as St John Ambulance and in other care-related work.

It was always going to take a team effort to tackle Covid-19, the medical students of Swansea are pleased to be able to play our part.

Dr Will Mackintosh, Chair of RCGP South West Wales Faculty:

I couldn’t be prouder than to see the proactive way in which the GP Society and their medical student colleagues have stepped up to help in the challenge we all face. They have deservedly had their work recognised in UK-wide media coverage.

It is a priority of South West Wales Faculty to build on our existing strong links with Swansea University and the next generation of GPs.

I think we have seen from their compassion and work-ethic over the last few weeks that the future of our profession is in good hands. 

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