NHS Staff
Image: Geograph / David Dixon

Universities open student accommodation to NHS staff

Vacant rooms in student accommodation blocks are being offered to NHS staff and non-critical patients to free up hospital space. 

In an effort to ease the traffic within local hospitals, the University of Northampton has provided up to 300 rooms at Spencer Perceval halls. These free rooms will be open for hospital patients of a non-critical condition and those in social care that do not have the virus.

The University stated that the rooms will also be available to healthcare staff to ease pressure on the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak. This move aims to free up space in hospitals for those who require critical care and ventilators during the ongoing pandemic.

In addition, the university has offered free parking at its Waterside Campus to Northampton General Hospital staff.

The university has also extended further support by making a similar arrangement with St Andrews Healthcare, due to start next week.

Staff who work at a mental healthcare facility near the university are being offered accommodation at the university’s St George’s Avenue site.

With more challenges ahead and many more new and much needed healthcare professionals due to join the fight, we gladly and gratefully open our doors to them

– Nick Petford

A spokesperson from the hospital said they were “extremely grateful” for the continued support demonstrated by the university.

NHS workers will be able to rest in university rooms between shifts, which the hospital said would help staff who live “with individuals considered to be in the high risk category”.

Vice-chancellor Nick Petford stated: “We’ve heard many stories over the past few days showing true humanitarian spirit during the unprecedented challenges Covid-19 is setting us.

“Many of these involve our outstanding healthcare sector staff who show the sort of altruism and dedication most of us can only marvel at.

“With more challenges ahead and many more new and much needed healthcare professionals due to join the fight, we gladly and gratefully open our doors to them.”

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