Updates for students
16 June 2021
Roadmap out of lockdown
In line with the UK Government’s roadmap for England, the easing of lockdown has now been extended until 19 July 2021 (at the earliest). We’ll be regularly updating this page if and when details change.
Enhanced Covid testing for all students living on and off campus
From Monday 14 June, enhanced Covid-19 testing is being made available for all students living on and off campus. The University of Sussex and the local public health team are acting swiftly to ensure transmission rates are contained and students can travel home safely.
Two mobile testing units will be on campus from today, Monday 14 June to Friday 18 June, allowing students to have a PCR test onsite. Students living off campus are asked to book a PCR test online and have been given instructions on how to order a postal PCR test. All students are asked to take the PCR tests to monitor and identify asymptomatic cases and ensure that students who are positive and others in their households are following self-isolation guidelines.
Students are asked to inform the University of any positive Covid case via the University’s simple to use form. The University can then provide support to students who need to self-isolate with its package of support. Additional PCR tests will also be supplied to the University’s onsite testing facility in Bramber House (level 1 Dine Central). These tests will be available to University staff, who would like to have enhanced testing. The health and safety measures currently in place on campus should mean that the likelihood of transmission from students to staff is minimal, however the additional tests available are for staff who would value taking a PCR test.
Click and collect home tests
To help make it easier for staff and students working on campus to take regular tests, the University of Brighton is now offering ‘click and collect’ home tests alongside the existing on-campus testing (see here). The new service will allow staff and students to book a collection slot via the existing test booking system, before picking up a test kit from a test centre for use at home. Home test kits are available from any one of the four existing test centres (Cockcroft, Eastbourne, City and Falmer) subject to a pre-booked collection slot. It's also possible to obtain test kits online here >
COVIDReady2 study launches
BSMS is taking part in the COVIDReady2 study – a collaborative study organised by researchers at the University of Oxford, in partnership with researchers from the University of Cambridge, King’s College London, and Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital, London. This study has been approved by the UK Medical Schools Council Education Lead Advisory Group. We would like to invite you to complete a questionnaire being conducted as part of a research study organised by researchers at the University of Oxford in partnership with researchers from the University of Cambridge, King’s College London, and Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital, London. This questionnaire asks about the medical education of those who did and did not volunteer to work in a clinical capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to look at issues volunteers and non-volunteers faced. We anticipate this study will help identify volunteer structures that have been beneficial for students; and inform the structure of non-pandemic clinical placements going forward. This study has been approved by the UK Medical Schools Council Education Lead Advisory Group.
The questionnaire is open to all medical students from any year who were enrolled at medical schools in the UK at the start of the first COVID-19 lockdown (23rd March 2020). It is open to those who did and did not volunteer in a clinical capacity. We will be sharing results of this survey with UK medical schools and the UK Medical Schools Council so the more responses we receive the better we can develop a volunteering system that works in the ongoing pandemic, and help inform the structure of non-pandemic clinical placements. No identifiable data is collected unless you choose to provide an email address for a follow up study, and completing this survey does not constitute an application to become a volunteer. This study has been reviewed and ethically approved by the University of Oxford’s Medical Sciences Interdivisional Research Ethics Committee (Ref: R74003/RE001).
Link to questionnaire: https://psychiatryoxford.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cBC2wozJiZRnebI
COVID-19 isolation support payments update
If you’re a student who is self-isolating due to COVID-19 and are away from your usual support networks, you may be eligible for an allowance to help with food and other essentials. If you are, and you find yourself in this situation, please note that the University of Sussex has made some updates to the Student Hub’s Symptoms and Isolation’s Self-isolation payments section on the support available. Read more here >
Students who are unable to return to their University of Brighton-managed accommodation for the start of this term will receive a 60% reduction in their third rent payment, equivalent to the number of weeks that they are unable to access their accommodation because of Government restrictions on travel and return to campus.
The terms of the reduction are as follows:
- It will only be open to students who are not in residence as a consequence of the lockdown. Lockdown regulations state that students should not travel and must now stay where they are residing. So those currently in accommodation will be required to stay, and as such will be liable for full accommodation fees.
- Students will need to be up-to-date with their accommodation fees by the start of the third payment period to enable the calculated discount to be applied to their final rent request.
It is important to note that the University of Brighton will still be maintaining and operating all of its Halls and Uni-homes, and will still carry the full cost of this, including that of maintaining security of any possessions left in halls and the insurance cover to protect them. However, we recognise the financial impact of your accommodation and hope that the University of Brighton’s decision shows our commitment to you during this unprecedented crisis. Brighton will be in touch again shortly with details of how the refund will work. You don’t need to take any action at the moment.
An update will follow for students living in University of Sussex accomodation. Please check back for details.
Testing: book now
In line with Government guidance, it is important to plan your travel date around your return to campus. If you haven’t received this yet, look out for it very shortly. You may wish to consider returning a few days in advance of your scheduled return to face-to-face teaching, to give you time to settle in and book your first COVID-19 test in the days beforehand. Testing will begin on 4 January and continue until early February. Testing centres will be open 9am to 5pm.
Book a test on the University of Brighton campus here >
The University of Sussex is now testing staff/students on campus twice a week. The University has been given the go-ahead to roll out regular mass testing for Sussex staff and students. This extension of the lateral flow testing operation we have been running since November 2020 means that we will be able to offer testing twice a week for students and staff who need it. These can be booked online now. This will initially run until 15 February, but we are expecting further guidance from the Government in the coming weeks about the broader return of students to campus and the role that mass testing will play in that.
Book a test on the University of Sussex campus here >
New online mental health platform available to Sussex staff and students
The University of Sussex have introduced Togetherall, an online platform which includes tools to help you understand and manage your mental health. There are self-assessments and recommended resources, as well as a wide range of self-guided courses to study at your own pace. Everyone at the BSMS can access the service for free - any time, any day. Simply register online here using your University of Sussex email address (eg email@example.com).
Wellbeing and mental health
The Student Support Team remains available to respond to all student enquiries, including any issues around wellbeing and mental health, whether as a consequence of COVID-19, lockdown or anything else.
We encourage students to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
We can offer telephone or video calls with students and will respond to the appropriate needs of the individual and their situation.
We will continue to signpost to relevant services, both within the Universities of Brighton and Sussex or to external services in the wider community.
We will also advise regarding relevant self-help tools and resources, particularly where a student may be waiting for services such as counselling.
We would also encourage students to access the Wellbeing information and resources offered by Sussex and Brighton:
www.sussex.ac.uk/wellbeing/mentalhealth (includes a large section on Wellbeing books, apps, podcasts and other internet tools)
www.brighton.ac.uk/brighton-students/your-student-life/my-wellbeing (includes self-help guides and links to other support)
All students are currently expected to wear face masks in the communal areas within the Medical Teaching Building, such as the corridors. Please be advised that from Monday 2 November 2020, face masks will also need to be worn by staff members and students in all teaching rooms in the Medical Teaching Building at all times, which includes during teaching sessions. The only people who are not required to wear masks are those who are considered exempt by government guidance.
Guidance on what to do if you develop symptoms
Firstly, please remember, that if you are unwell at all, do not attend any face to face teaching. Whether it is COVID-19 or flu or something else, we do not want to risk it potentially spreading to your patients, colleagues or staff. If you are not well, please let the school office know by emailing email@example.com Year 1 and 2) or EmertonSchoolOffice@bsms.ac.uk (Year 3-5) as soon as possible.
All students should follow the procedure below if you are reporting isolating or covid symptoms:
- One member of your household should email the BSMS school office – this lessens the number of emails received and allows us to track households isolating more efficiently.
- The email should contain the following information:
- Names of all BSMS students in the household (they should all be cc’d into the email).
- Information on who is symptomatic and who is asymptomatic.
- The date/s any symptoms started.
- The date/s you all started isolating.
- The date/s of any tests taken.
- Results of tests (whether positive of negative) should be sent to us as soon as you receive them.
- Details of any teaching attended in the three days prior to any symptoms developing.
If we contact you asking for any further information, please reply as soon as possible. Once we have this information, we can arrange for students to attend teaching virtually (where possible).
For year 1 the following teams will be arranging your virtual teaching:
- 102 academic skills: Academic tutor/Amy Gore
- 102 small group sessions: BSMS office
- 101 sessions: Rosie Stanley/ Watson office.
For year 2 the following teams will be arranging your virtual teaching:
- 202 SSCs: SSC tutor/Amy Gore
- 202 small group sessions: BSMS office
- 201 sessions: Hayley Armstrong/ Watson office.
Students should also note that the updated guidance states the following regarding contacts outside of your household:
I have been in contact with someone OUTSIDE my household who is symptomatic/has tested positive, what should I do?
- You do not need to do anything unless you are contacted by the Test and Trace team.
- Test and Trace will advise if you need to self-isolate.
- Unless you are contacted by Test and Trace or develop symptoms, then you can attend all teaching as normal.
- Please notify the school office if you are contacted by Test and Trace or develop symptoms.
I have been in contact with someone OUTSIDE my household who has tested positive, but does not have the NHS Covid-19 app, will Test and Trace be able to contact me?
- Yes. Test and trace is not just based on the app.
- The Bluetooth data collected by the app is to supplement the information that Test and Trace will collect verbally about who a positive case has been in contact with.
Please note that the guidance also refers to arranging swaps for teaching – this relates only to Phase 2 & 3. Students in Phase 1 are not currently permitted to arrange swaps for teaching sessions.
After discussion with the phase team please note the following: If you have COVID and/or are self-isolating due to a household member with suspected/confirmed covid or having covid symptoms yourself:
- Any sessions missed during this time will not impact your attendance.
- There is no need to complete the mitigating circumstances form or contact Student Support regarding absence during this time.
- Missed attendance due to non-COVID reasons must be mitigated as usual.
- Where possible, we will arrange virtual/teams session for isolating students and the office will email you regarding these.
Students should engage with Student Support if they have any concerns during this time.
The University of Brighton has setup a new email address for students on this campus: Student-Enquiries-and-Supportfirstname.lastname@example.org
FAQs, Covid 19 student emails and related content can be found via the links below: