Shropshire college’s medical team helping in the fight against coronavirus

A Shropshire college’s experienced medical team is not only creating a Covid-safe campus, but is out in the community helping with the fight against the pandemic.

The Concord College team of five nurses and four healthcare assistants expect to have 24-hour medical cover at Concord from March 1.

Safety precautions at the college already include the setting up of a ‘red medical centre’ and isolation pods.

Working in conjunction with BioGrad Lab, the medical team has completed PCR and antibody tests to enable students, who wish to study remotely, to safely fly home with the correct certificates.

And when members of the team are not supporting the fight against Covid-19 to ensure a Covid-safe Acton Burnell campus, they are supporting the NHS with the vaccine roll-out and staff shortages.

Lead nurse Pamela Tomlin and Helen Taylor (HCA) are helping with the vaccine roll-out.

Miss Tomlin returned to help in the A&E department last summer and Miss Taylor works for the NHS in her main role.

Naomi Shingler and Catherine Beard also have main employment within the NHS, but are also assisting Concord College at this crucial time.

Mrs Beard has worked in the medical centre at Concord since 2016.

And at Concord they have helped set up – and conducted – thousands of Covid tests.

Together, the team is also helping at local hospitals, surgeries and other vaccination centres.

Mrs Beard said: “My main role is as a theatre/scrub nurse at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital.

“I also work as a staff nurse on a spinal injuries ward and since December have been a Covid-19 vaccinator too.

"I have now administered approximately 400 vaccines at two local hospitals and the bowling centre in Shrewsbury.

'Inspirational'

“The vaccine drive is both well organised and supported. We have some inspirational leaders whom I have worked with before.

“It feels good to be part of the solution – a privilege to be in a unique position to join the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Miss Tomlin said: “As part of the safety precautions at Concord, we are completing periodic PCR testing on the whole of the college student and staff population along with setting up our own PCR testing facility onsite to enable immediate accurate testing if required.

“Working with other teams in the college, the Boarding Schools Association and MOSA, we are ensuring our environment at Concord is as Covid-safe as possible for everyone.

“As well as ensuring our physical environment and testing programme is in place, we have been supporting students emotionally to cope with the changes to daily life during these difficult times.”

Reflecting on future hopes regarding Covid-19, Miss Tomlin added: “I hope that life is able to resume to some kind of near-normality.

“While huge concerns remain about physical and mental health as well as the economy, the vaccine has given us all hope and the roll-out has been phenomenal.

“I am hoping this will be our way out of the pandemic.”

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