You are here

Health students support national effort to combat coronavirus

30 Mar 2020 1:30PM

Final year health students at the University of Suffolk are amongst thousands nationally who are supporting the health and social care system during the coronavirus crisis. 

The Nursing and Midwifery Council have allowed students to undertake an extended clinical placement of up to six months to complete the required hours on their course and all outstanding competencies. The special measures are outlined in the government’s emergency Coronavirus Bill 2020

Approximately 65 Adult Nursing students and Child Health Nursing students from the University will be going into practice imminently. A group of Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) and Radiographers from the University are also registering early, in order to be able to support the NHS. They will be joined by many more students in the coming weeks and months.  

Dean of the School of Health and Sports Sciences and registered nurse, Paul Driscoll-Evans, said “This is a great opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of our service users and it presents a great learning opportunity for our students. I am really proud of how dedicated our students have been during this challenging time.” 

Staff at the University of Suffolk are also preparing to return to clinical practice, if required. Many of the academics working in the School of Health and Sports Sciences remain registered health care professionals. 

Paul added “As we saw in the ‘Clap for Carers’ event last week, our care workers provide the backbone of Britain particularly during this current crisis and this is hugely appreciated. Being a healthcare professional is an extremely rewarding profession and our health students join the University knowing it’s much more than a job, it’s a vocation.”  

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Suffolk and registered nurse, Professor Helen Langton, said “The University stands shoulder to shoulder with the healthcare providers in the region who are playing a vital role to overcome Covid-19. Over a third of our students are working towards a health qualification so it is only right we do what we can to support our NHS and the community in any way we can.” 

Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK has responded to the Coronavirus Bill. He said “The UK’s universities play a crucial role in the nation’s health and wellbeing – from training the next generation of health professionals to the life-saving research carried out in our laboratories – and we are committed to supporting the national effort to protect and serve the public and local communities during these unprecedented times. 

“These are exceptional measures for exceptional circumstances, and universities will do everything they can to support those health students who are ready to work in the NHS ahead of their graduation. Right now, universities and professional bodies are working with government, the regulators and the NHS to ensure that students are protected prepared and are clear about the expectations upon them.” 

To find out more about nursing at the University of Suffolk visit To find out more about ODP visit and to find out more about Radiography visit  


University of Suffolk Press Office
T: 01473 338476