University of Sussex supports authorities during coronavirus crisis
Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Tuesday, 21 April 2020
Article originally posted Wednesday, 15 April
The University of Sussex and Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) have acted quickly to respond to requests from health and government authorities to assist during the coronavirus crisis.
The University last week set up a task force to co-ordinate such requests, working quickly to provide the NHS, central government departments and local councils with the resources, equipment and services that they need.
Now, BSMS and the University are assisting Brighton & Hove City Council by preparing our existing anatomy facilities and new specifically-designed units to be used as temporary body storage during the coronavirus crisis, should they be needed. The timing of the public announcement about this development was led by the City Council and we apologise that the University was not able to give more notice when we originally shared this news with our community ahead of the local media this week.
We would emphasise that this is a precautionary move and, of course, everybody hopes that the facility will end up not being needed.
But, at such a difficult time, we want to support our partners and the local community. The team at BSMS are used to caring for the deceased and are confident that they can offer the same dignity, care and compassion that is provided by the City Mortuary.
Authorities in Sussex have identified a small number of sites across the county for the facilities and the University was considered the most suitable in the Brighton & Hove area.
The temporary arrangement will make use of existing specialist facilities within BSMS, with additional units being installed at the edge of the campus in car park 5, near the University’s Sports Centre, to be used if required.
Out of respect for everyone involved, the facility will be completely screened from the outside. The Council will provide 24-hour security.
Those staff coming to campus for other jobs will continue to be able to use Falmer Station and the buses, as normal.
To be clear, no Covid-19 patients will be housed in University residences at any time.
The very highest standards of protocols are being applied and we can assure everyone that there is absolutely no risk whatsoever of increased virus transmission as a result of this development.
Staff on campus may find there are journalists or photographers who are interested in this facility. Please do pass any enquiries immediately on to the Press Office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As announced last week, the University has also begun:
- Manufacturing personal protective equipment for NHS staff and other key workers;
- Helping with national efforts to test for COVID 19; and
- Coordinating coronavirus related research.
In addition, final assessments have now taken place for final-year medical students, enabling them to graduate early and join the NHS effort from May.
The University is also housing on campus Government personnel who are working in the region to help tackle coronavirus.