Posted May 19th 2020

St Hugh’s students step up to join battle against COVID-19

As the NHS continues to fight the pressures brought on by COVID-19, St Hugh’s could not be more proud of its students who are using their skills by working with medical organisations taking part in a number of important projects.

The students include Stoyan Dimitrov, Chris Mason, Síle Johnson, Rex English, Cameron East, Sophie Roche, Kenzo Motohashi, Phil Cowie, Laura Wilkins and Anna Pathak (pictured above).

Coronavirus Hub GP Practices: Stoyan and Kenzo have been working at GP practices providing an important service by seeing patients with COVID-19 symptoms, helping to keep high standards of infection control and assisting with administrative duties.

Emergency Departments: Síle and Chris have been working in the John Radcliffe and Horton General Hospital Emergency Departments (ED) in a variety of roles. These include streaming patients to COVID vs non-COVID ED based on their symptoms; assisting nursing staff with their duties; and acting as PPE buddies for staff requiring higher level PPE when attending high risk patients.

Asymptomatic Staff Screening Project: Stoyan, Chris, Síle, Cameron, Kenzo and Phil have been carrying out swabs and blood tests for a study screening staff members across Oxford University Hospitals to identify asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus. This will enable early identification, preventing ongoing transmission, and will identify presence of the antibody providing an estimate for the proportion of people who have already had coronavirus.

Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Trial: Rex and Sophie have been helping in a range of roles in the search for a COVID-19 vaccine including in the administrative team, where they have been taking blood and collecting other important measurements from participants in the trial.

Intensive Care Unit: Laura has been assisting the medical team in the Adult Intensive Care Unit at the John Radcliffe, acting as PPE buddy for staff requiring higher level PPE whenever they are entering the intensive care unit.

Contacting Vulnerable Patients: Anna has been balancing her studies with phoning vulnerable and highly vulnerable patients for a GP surgery in Oxfordshire. She has been sharing advice with patients about minimising the risk of catching COVID-19; helping to ensure that they are connected with their surgery; and ensuring that they have access to medication and community support groups. Anna said, “Each day I call three patients and debrief the relevant GP at the end of the day. Now we have finished calling all the patients in the vulnerable category, I look forward to helping collect data for an antiviral trial in Oxford for COVID-19 and participating in a vaccine trial alongside my studies.”