Midwifery and paramedic students from Swansea University will be lending their support to frontline NHS colleagues in the fight to against the coronavirus pandemic.
The entire third year of the University’s midwifery degree will be assisting qualified midwives as they look after women and their families at maternity units in health boards across south Wales.
Meanwhile, 101 paramedic students have signed up to work with the Welsh Ambulance Service and will be supporting the service that carries out non-urgent and non-critical, planned patient transport such as bringing dialysis and cancer patients for treatment.
Nikki Williams, team lead for paramedic studies, said: “I am incredibly proud of our students – those nearing completion of their course and students in their first year. It shows how in times such as these, our students are willing to do what it takes to ensure the health and wellbeing of the public remain the main priority.”
Andy Swinburn, Associate Director of Paramedicine for the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “We are extremely grateful to the University providing students across South Wales.
“The paramedic students will allow the release of many staff back towards frontline duties as we manage the pandemic. Partnership working like this is invaluable at this time and will hugely benefit the students and crucially, boost the available trained workforce.”
One of those who will be working alongside NHS colleagues at a maternity unit is midwifery student Angharad Colinese.
She said: “Understandably I am worried about the outbreak and the effect it might have on the world, my family, my health and my degree.
“But I came into the midwifery profession to try to help women and families, and this is more important now than ever. By doing this I hope we’ll be able to support our midwifery colleagues as best we can.”
The University’s head of midwifery education Dr Sarah Norris described the students as inspiring: “They will be increasing their practice hours during the next few months to support maternity services and work with midwifery colleagues to ensure mothers, babies and their families continue to receive the best care possible in these challenging times.
“The students were totally positive in responding to this proposal and are an inspiring group who will be excellent midwives in the future.”
Professor Ceri Phillips, head of the College of Human and Health Sciences, said the unparalleled situation facing the NHS called for practical measures.
He said: “Our health professional students are making themselves available to support and work alongside their NHS colleagues and we are very proud of their contribution.
“In addition, staff from within the College have willingly volunteered to provide training to NHS staff in critical care skills, to enable them to contribute more effectively to the treatment of those with the Covid-19 virus.”