``The experience and expertise that we have gained from battling outbreaks of Ebola and SARS will be invaluable to beating coronavirus.``
We spend our time preparing for and responding to threats overseas. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the response to our home here in the UK, and we face the challenge of the virus along with 184 countries around the world. The lessons we’ve learnt in the field, sadly, are applicable here in the UK. Due to the scale, severity and speed of the outbreak, UK-Med are working both in the UK and overseas to support those affected.
UK-Med are incredibly proud to be supporting our skilled and dedicated NHS colleagues by joining the team leading the build of Nightingale North West, the field hospital being constructed at the Manchester G-Mex to care for some of the region’s COVID-19 patients.
- Lending his wealth of humanitarian experience of field hospital set up, our founder Professor Tony Redmond takes on the role of Medical Director.
- Our Humanitarian Health Advisor David Anderson has been seconded for one month and takes on the role of Director of Quality and IPC, bringing his experience of responding to a multitude of outbreaks from Ebola in West Africa to the recent measles outbreak in Samoa.
- For the first two weeks, our Health Programme Manager (Outbreak) Sarah Collis also joined the team – to bring her significant humanitarian experience in a variety of contexts and NHS background – supporting on infection prevention control.
There are a mix of professionals from the NHS, private sector and the army all working towards one objective. There are multiple challenges with the site layout, timeframes, recruitment, equipment procurement but the level of expertise in those involved in the build is incredibly high, and the team are well on target for setting up the up to 500+ bed facility in time to accept the first patients in the next week.
David Anderson, nurse and UK-Med Humanitarian Health Advisor, said:
“The experience and expertise that we have gained from battling outbreaks of Ebola and SARS will be invaluable to beating coronavirus. That work has prepared me mentally for dealing with COVID-19 and it does help you understand how to respond, particularly in terms of preventative measures to protect health workers and the wider community.
“We can – and we will – beat this. We are proud to work with our colleagues in the NHS, as we have with our dedicated healthcare colleagues around the world, to provide the highest level of care to those affected.”
Read more from David on his secondment here.