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27 April 2020

An academic institutions response to COVID-19: Robert Gordon University

With rapidly changing developments relating to Covid-19 the FRRH has reached out to our members in an effort to share experiences and best practices. We hope that this will support and guide healthcare professionals and academic educators during these difficult times.

We have been in contact with The Faculty of Remote and Rural Healthcare Organisational Member, the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Robert Gordon University. Ian Murray, Professor and Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery, shares the schools experience responding to the challenges created by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

How has the COVID-19 outbreak affected the delivery the delivery of academic education at Robert Gordon University (RGU)?

"From an academic provider perspective we’ve had to shift all face to face learning and assessment to online formats. Course structures have changed to accommodate final year students and some second-year students taking up paid placements within the NHS. This has all been done in close collaboration with the professional regulators, NES and Scottish Government."

What measures are you and your organisation taking to increase standards in care and hygiene?

"The University is playing a key role in supporting the NHS to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Academic staff have been involved in up-skilling returners to the NHS and other healthcare professionals such as podiatrists and dental nurses to step into key supportive roles within the NHS. This has involved training in infection control and protection, the use of personal protective equipment as well as some fundamental caring skills such as washing, assisting with eating, mobilisation and the recording of vital signs.

Some academic staff will be stepping into roles with the NHS and others have been involved in supporting the care home sector. The university has doubled its support for students in practice. Since the 13th of April over 600 RGU student nurses, midwives, student AHPs and social work students have begun their preparation to undertake paid placements in the health, social care and care home sector."

How is the academic staff adapting during the COVID-19 pandemic and what are the main priorities established during these difficult times?

 "Academic staff at RGU are using a range of online tools to stay engaged with normal business as much as is achievable at this time. Student support is happening through a range of online tools and CampusMoodle, the university’s virtual learning environment. The main focus of the university is to ensure as many students as possible can either graduate or progress as per their academic programmes. Therefore, academic staff have developed creative assessment techniques to ensure all learning outcomes are assessed within the approved programmes. In addition, many schools and departments are working closely with health and social care providers in support of the effort to address the COVID-19 challenge."


1 April 2020

Remote and rural best practice helps fight against COVID-19 

The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge to health care professionals all over the world. Recent developments have seen every member of the health care profession adapt and evolve to tackle the spread of this virus to save patients whilst facing increasingly difficult situations every day.

RCSEd in its commitment to making it better for all, is in regular communication with our Faculties to spotlight and share best practice that will support, guide and inspire the healthcare profession during these challenging times.

We caught up with Professor Angus Watson, RCSEd Lead Member of the Faculty of Remote and Rural Healthcare (FRRH) Executive Committee, on how Remote and Rural Healthcare teams long established practices can be propagated to other areas of the healthcare system and on new adaptations in tackling COVID-19.

[Angus on the RCSEd Tuanku Muhriz travelling fellowship talking about surgical management with medical officers and surgical masters candidates in Borneo]

How has the COVID-19 outbreak affected your practice and patient treatments?

"Delivering care for a geographically dispersed population, we have already adopted many novel ways of delivering care. The pandemic has created the environment for other colleagues to adopt these innovations: phone clinics, video consultations and the use of patient portals. Virtual consultations have a high patient satisfaction rate and save many carbon miles. Self-isolation has ‘forced’ healthcare colleagues and patients to try these ways of consultation and to a degree, have realised that any of their perceived risks about these non-standard tools, are probably less of a problem in reality."

What measures are your practice taking to increase standards in care and hygiene?

"We have trained to use PPE and have simulated operating in a COVID-19 theatre. We have introduced questionnaire and chest radiograph checks on the day that elective patients are being admitted to hospital. We have cohorted elective operating into a temporary theatre away from the main theatre complex." 

How is the team adapting during the COVID-19 pandemic and what are the main priorities established during these difficult times?

"The different ‘tribes’ of medical specialties have come together to work differently. We have surgical trainees working within medicine and surgical consultants being trained on how to deliver intensive care. This fluidity will, I believe, reap dividends for health care systems once the pandemic is over. I hope a more thoughtful and caring workforce will emerge which will ultimately benefit patient care."


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