Skip to main contentSkip to footer
Four students walk through campus
Brighton & Sussex Medical School

COVID-19 updates for staff and students

BSMS > About BSMS > Working here > COVID-19 updates for staff and students

COVID-19 updates for staff and students

This page will feature regular updates from BSMS on the latest return to campus updates for staff and students. Please check back for further updates.

BACKGROUND IMAGE FOR PANEL

Updates for staff

26 March 2021

Coronavirus information for medical students

The Medical Schools Council and General Medical Council have co-produced advice for medical students if they are concerned about getting a Covid-19 vaccine. This advice can be accessed here >

Staff updates

For those who continue to work on campus, please remember the importance of continuing to wear face coverings, maintaining social distancing, and regularly washing or sanitising hands. Please check our FAQs for guidance on face coverings. One way systems continue to be in place in all BSMS buildings, along with additional specific signage where necessary. Please do follow these instructions. 

Following the announcement on Monday 22 February which set out a roadmap to the easing of lockdown restrictions in England, both partner universities, the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton, are continuing to finalise plans to allow a further return to campus for staff and students. As soon as any plans are finalised with the partner universities, BSMS will continue to update staff via inPulse and on this Covid-19 updates page.

In correspondence with our partner universities, BSMS expects the majority of staff to continue remote working for the time being. Most teaching will continue to be online, although some in-person teaching will continue for staff and students as it has since January. Lab-based and research staff are also able to continue accessing buildings such as the Medical Research Building via a rota system. 

Following the Spring vacation at the end of April, the Government has stated it will review the guidelines. Depending on what is allowed from this time, BSMS will plan for a wider opening of campus to allow staff and students to return for the final weeks of the term, in line with our previous arrangements about staff returning to work on campus. From 1 July onwards, it is anticipated that a fuller return to campus for all staff will be allowed, with continued adherence to health and safety guidelines about social distancing. For the new academic year 2021/22, we anticipate there will be a full return to campus with in-person teaching resumed as normal for all students, again subject to Government guidelines and continuing health and safety measures.

Testing for staff

For those who have returned already, staff working on the University of Sussex campus will be asked to take two lateral flow tests each week and this can be carried out at the Sport Centre on campus. You can book your tests here.

The University of Brighton's asymptomatic testing will now be offered on more days of the week to make testing more accessible to staff and students. The University of Brighton has opened a new test centre at its City campus, joining the existing Falmer, Cockcroft and Eastbourne test sites. All staff who are working on campus or need to be on campus are encouraged to book regular asymptomatic testing. Please make sure that you book testing as close as possible to the time you are due to be on campus You can book tests here

Requests to return to campus for should continue to be routed via your line manager. If collecting items and equipment, your visit should be recorded with the appropriate person for each BSMS building.

For the latest information from our partner universities, visit their dedicated staff pages below.
University of Sussex >
University of Brighton >

Health and safety update and attendance on campus

COVID positive test: If you have a positive COVID test, please make sure you report this via the University of Sussex's self-reporting tool and immediately follow advice on isolation. The reporting tool is available here. If you need to be on campus for essential purposes, please make sure you have approval from your line manager and that you have registered your attendance with your department administrator who can record individuals on site and give advice on capacity limits for each building and offices or working spaces within. 

Lateral Flow Tests: It is recommended that all BSMS staff who are attending campus take a Lateral Flow Test, which can be booked here >

Risk Assessments: Risk Assessments are currently being reviewed and updated. Further information on all health and safety measures from our partner universities can be found below. 

University of Sussex >

University of Brighton >

Supporting BSMS staff with caring responsibilities: request for line managers

On 22 January, the University of Sussex sent out an email regarding caring responsibilities containing important information and links. BSMS also recognise that many staff are currently performing care work for children and vulnerable friends and relatives, which is a considerable burden to be managing alongside a BSMS role. We would therefore like to go further than the recommendations offered by the University of Sussex, and suggest that instead of expecting staff members to approach their line managers, that line managers instead contact their teams as soon as possible and ask for meetings with those who have caring responsibilities in order to begin to explore what can be done to ease workloads and provide additional support. Many staff members will be trying to cope with tremendous workloads without feeling comfortable about self-reporting their difficulties, which is why it's important for line managers to proactively approach their teams and begin these conversations. The focus of these meetings should be the wellbeing of the staff member and making arrangements to optimise this. As the University of Sussex guidance emphasises, it is important to ask team members which working patterns and hours are optimal in terms of protecting their wellbeing while meeting their essential work responsibilities and performing their care duties. If additional support is needed, line managers should speak to the head of their department in the first instance.

Mental health forum update

Towards the end of last year, following an appeal for volunteers, HR at the University of Sussex launched a Mental Health Staff Forum to help shape the development of mental health and wellbeing provision at Sussex. Since then, the forum has collectively identified five priorities for 2021, including mental health training/awareness for managers and creating a mental health first aiders network. HR colleagues are currently putting together a webpage so that everyone can keep in touch with progress. More news will be available soon. Read more here >

Access to campus – who to contact

All staff who need to access campus need to record this with the relevant person in each building. This includes going to campus to collect any equipment or items. 
The contacts for access to buildings for BSMS are as follows.

  • Lisa Costick (medicineAnatomyDA@bsms.ac.uk) for the Teaching Building, Clinical and Experimental Medicine staff and all Professional Services staff including the Dean's Office and School office.
  • Debbie Miller (D.Miller@bsms.ac.uk) for all Global Health and Infection staff (including those in the Medical Research Building office).
  • Juliet Kneller (J.Kneller@bsms.ac.uk) for Medical Research Building. 
  • Christina Lee (C.Lee2@bsms.ac.uk) for Trafford Building
  • Elizabeth Renvoize (E.Renvoize@bsms.ac.uk) for SHORE-C. 
  • Pat Butler (P.Butler@bsms.ac.uk) for CISC.
  • Sue Brown (S.Brown@bsms.ac.uk) for Department of Medical Education staff in Watson Building. 
  • Sonia Khan (S.Khan@bsms.ac.uk) for Primary Care and Public Health staff in Watson Building. 
  • Heather Shaw (H.Shaw2@bsms.ac.uk) for staff in Watson open plan area, the Admissions, Exams and Assessment and Clinical Skills teams.

Research staff 

This week, the University of Sussex wrote to all research staff to clarify its position regarding on-campus research activities that involve human participants. Typically, this covers interview subjects and individuals involved in ‘human testing’ projects such as MRI scanning, EEG monitoring etc.

This communication does not refer to returning to work in laboratories or research facilities by staff or students as scientists, researchers or associate support roles. Compared to the situation in March last year, the University of Sussex is committed to the principle that such work should continue wherever it is possible. Since December, however, it is evident that pandemic transmission rates have increased significantly in the local area and, for the first time, exceed the national average. In consequence, more than ever, it is vital that the principles of the national lockdown are followed and that movements onto campus by those who are neither staff nor students are fully justified. 

On this basis, therefore, any on-going participant research on campus should now be paused and closely re-evaluated in the light of current developments. 

Heads of Schools will, going forwards, be the gatekeepers of what is deemed to be justified on-going participant research in the current challenging circumstances. These decisions will be based on:

  • Relevance to COVID research or other important health-related investigations or services
  • Significant and demonstrable financial or contractual consequences if research has to be paused for a period of time
  • Capacity and appropriateness of facilities in the context of current restrictions, notably where they may compromise researcher and participant safety
  • Ensuring the safety of members of the public attending campus for any clinical services

Any activities should closely follow the principles of the University of Sussex's COVID-19 Guidance for Researchers on Face-to-Face Human Participant Research on Campus, paying close attention to measures to avoid transmission, procedures for maintaining track and trace data and all other relevant requirements.  

This guidance will be reviewed and, if necessary, updated at the end of January 2021.

Support for staff

All staff can access free, confidential counselling and support as part of our Employee Assistance Programme. You can refer yourself and do not need to inform anyone. There are also a number of additional resources to support your mental and physical health in the University of Sussex's wellbeing hub.

HR guidance and tools for staff and managers on returning to campus

With so many managers having less contact with their teams the Organisational Development (OD) team at the University of Sussex have designed a series of workshops as part of a Management Essentials programme to support the recently launched Manager's Toolkit. The programme is made up of nine 90-minute workshops with dates running throughout the academic year. Workshops available include Introduction to Management - Developing your Management skills, Leading and Managing Teams and an Introduction to Managing Change. Dates are available now and details can be found on the OD pages here.

For those managers interested in studying towards professional qualifications, we are pleased to offer staff the opportunity to study towards CMI accredited management apprenticeships. Working with training provider KnowledgeBrief, staff can apply to study for a Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisor, or Level 5 Operational/Departmental Manager apprenticeships. Both programmes are fully funded and full programme details can be found on the OD pages 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 bsmsxxx@sussex.ac.uk).

Other return to campus updates

All BSMS buildings have been assessed by both the Health and Safety and Estates Facilities Management teams and opened on 21 September. 

Other developments and updates include: 

  • An induction document for staff.
  • The filming of buildings to show staff how teaching and working spaces will look - view the film below.
  • Plans to release staff assessments and requirements over the coming weeks are also ongoing.

We are continuing to move through our four-phase return to campus plan. These phases are:

  • Phase 1 – BSMS Survey and analysis 
  • Phase 2 – Confirm capacity of available teaching and work spaces
  • Phase 3 – Determine resources needed – eg additional IT to enable working from campus and home, local sanitisation arrangements, provision of PPE
  • Phase 4 – Additional considerations – eg parking and catering

We are currently in Phase 4. Risk assessments have been carried out for each building and measures put in place to minimise risks of COVID transmission. Safety measures include limiting the number of people in spaces, staff rotas, mandatory wearing of face coverings in communal areas, hand sanitiser stations, personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning (morning, evening and throughout the day). 

Several buildings are already open, including the Medical Teaching Building; Audrey Emerton Building; Clinical Imaging Sciences Centre; Medical Research Building; SHORE-C and the Watson Building. Essential staff might be working on campus on a rotational basis, as agreed with their teams or department. If you are unsure whether you are an essential worker, please discuss this with your line manager.

Phase 4 updates include:

  • Drs Orders Café – please note that Drs Orders Café in the Medical Teaching Building is now closed. 
  • Protective face visors – these have now arrived for staff who wish to have one when on campus. Please contact your line manager if you would like one.
  • Toolkit for leaders and managers – the University of Sussex has issued new guidance for managers and leaders – view the toolkit here >
  • Signage – additional requests for signage and control measures are being processed.
  • Phase 4 additional considerations – now that BSMS are in Phase 4 of the return to campus plans, a new form will be issued shortly for staff to submit any new considerations or suggestions now many of us are back on campus. Please keep an eye out for this. 
  • Review process – BSMS will review these current measures in November, subject to Government guidance. 

Risk assessments

Risk assessment documents for staff in the Medical Teaching Building and Trafford Centre and now available on SharePoint via the link below.

View risk assessment documents here >

Staff checklist when BSMS students report confirmed COVID-19 cases or self-isolation

When a BSMS student notifies us that they have tested positive for Covid-19 or have been advised by Track and Trace to self-isolate, please complete the following steps: 

All staff will please ensure they are familiar with the process and nominate a designate if they are absent. 

Person who is first point of contact with student will determine: 

  • How the student is feeling
  • Student name
  • Which year the student is in
  • The exact date the student developed symptoms
  • The exact date that the student received their test result (If reporting a positive case)
  • The exact date that the student started their self-isolation if they are awaiting a test result/told to do so by Track and Trace
  • What teaching they have attended in the 3 days before developing symptoms? 
  • Do they live with other BSMS students? If yes, please get their names too.
  • Whole households must self-isolate if waiting for test result, or if one of the household tests positive.
  • Remind student that they will have to self-isolate for 10 days if they have tested positive and their housemates for 14 days
  • Advise student to engage with student support 
  • Inform relevant school office, where the course coordinators will process it. Years 1-2 please contact BsmsSchoolOffice@bsms.ac.uk. Years 3-5 please contact Emertonschooloffice@bsms.ac.uk.

The relevant course coordinators will then: 

  • Ensure the details are recorded on the central recording spreadsheet 
  • Let the rotation/module/firm lead/clinical skills team/clinical practice team know as necessary 
  • Advise the student of how to access any online learning resources 
  • Remind the student to check the most up to date government guidance https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
  • Advise student support of the student’s situation
  • Inform the relevant Curriculum and Assessment Manager. Phase 1 please contact Lisa Kearley at L.Kearley@bsms.ac.uk. Phase 2 & 3 please contact Louise Mimnagh at L.Mimnagh@bsms.ac.uk. 

The relevant Curriculum and Assessment Manager, or designate, will then:  

  • Inform the following that there is a positive case, so that it can be reported to University of Brighton.
    • Phase Team
    • Emily Pitt
    • Prof Juliet Wright 
    • Peter Dennis 
  • Confirm with above who will be reporting new case to University of Brighton. 
  • Update the central recording spreadsheet to show when University of Brighton were informed. 
  • Update central recording spreadsheet of any developments.
  • Update the Phase team on what teaching was missed by the student. 
  • Support the course coordinators in helping the student in retrieving missed teaching. 

You can find much more information from both partner universities by following the links below.

University of Sussex updates >

University of Brighton updates (INTERNAL PAGE) >

All staff who have returned to campus should ensure they wear a facemask or visor in all campus buildings unless medically exempt. 

Updates for students 

30 March 2021

Key contacts during Easter break

Due to University closure days, the BSMS Student Support team will be unavailable and unable to pick up messages after 5pm Tuesday 30 March until 9am Thursday 8 April. 

Please find important emergency and wellbeing contacts below and other resources to support you. In the event of an emergency – if there is an immediate risk to life:

  • Off campus: Please ring the Emergency Services on 999. 
  • On Brighton campus: In a life-threatening medical emergency, a fire or a physical threat to life, 999. Thereafter call the university emergency number 2222 (+ 44 (0)1273 64 2222)
  • On Sussex campus: In an emergency, immediately call the Security Office on ext 3333 (01273 873333 from an external or mobile phone). You can also phone Security for first aid assistance. If you need to call 999, please inform the Security office that you have done so immediately, as emergency services need to be met at the entrance to campus and guided to the incident location.

If you require immediate support you can contact:

  • Brighton and Hove Samaritans: 01273 772277  jo@samaritans.org 
  • Sussex Mental Health Line: 0300 5000101 SMH website > 
  • Shout (24/7 text service) Shout website > 
  • No Panic: 01952 680835 - Recording of breathing technique to control panic, 24/7 
  • BMA Helpline: 0330 123 1245 - Confidential counselling service 24/7 

For Campus Residential Support:

Student Support Team - studentsupport@bsms.ac.uk.

Coronavirus information for medical students

The Medical Schools Council and General Medical Council have co-produced advice for medical students if they are concerned about getting a Covid-19 vaccine. This advice can be accessed here >

Rule of six

From next Monday 29 March, the Government’s lockdown restrictions will ease further in line with the roadmap out of lockdown in England. Up to six people or two households will be allowed to meet outdoors (including in private gardens). Outdoor sports facilities will also be allowed to reopen and formally organised outdoor sport can restart. The official stay at home guidance will end, but some travel restrictions will remain in place.

Whilst this is clearly very positive news, many restrictions will remain and it is important that we all continue to stick to local and national guidance to help keep everyone safe. In particular, social gathering indoors remains prohibited so please maintain the admirable behaviour you’ve shown during the last 12 months, for a short while longer.

Easter travel

The DfE has also confirmed that students will be allowed to return home for the Easter break. To minimise the risk of transmission, however, we strongly advise you to remain in term time accommodation wherever possible. If you do decide to travel home for the Easter break you should ensure that you book a university test before travelling. You should also book a test before you return to the university where local testing facilities are available. If you test positive at either of these tests you will be legally obliged to self-isolate for ten days and you should not travel. 

All students returning to university after spending time at home for the Easter break must book a university test as soon as possible after returning to university.

Group gatherings - reminder

A complaint was made this week (week commencing 8 March) that six BSMS students were huddled closely together in a library study area. It is possible that these students are living together and were therefore adhering to social distancing guidelines, but all students are reminded of social distancing rules in the library.

For further library updates at both campuses, see the links below.

Sussex Library: sussex.ac.uk/library

University of Brighton Libraries: libguides.brighton.ac.uk/blog

Rent rebates - students based at Sussex

In summary, the position is that students who have not been on campus during the period of national lockdown will receive a rent credit for that time. They will be charged rent from the point at which they return to campus, or the date on which they are invited back for face-to-face teaching, whichever is earlier. If they have a reason not to return when invited to do so, there is a process for them to cite this and to request that they are not charged rent for that period. These requests will then be considered (Covid Exec have agreed the valid reasons, including impact on mental or physical health, covid isolation, and impediment to travel, and will take a view on any other acceptable reasons). Similarly, any students wishing to return before they are invited back can apply to do so on the basis of a number of agreed exceptional reasons, which include mental or physical health, no suitable study space, no safe alternative accommodation, or being called back into military or NHS service. Students returning for one of these reasons will be charged rent only from their date of return. Students returning for any other reasons during the lockdown will be charged for the entire rent period.

Libraries and study spaces

University study spaces need to be booked in advance. The 'Book a study space tile' will be available on My Brighton from Thursday 4 March to allow advance bookings and this will now include study spaces in University of Brighton libraries. All students that use University of Sussex campus facilities, including the Library, study spaces, Co-op and other indoor areas must continue to abide by the current Covid-19 rules.  This means that when indoors you wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) and must not gather in groups indoors or outdoors on campus. You can view the simple steps we must all do to keep everyone safe on campus here.

Follow the law

Although this is an understandably exciting time for those able to now return, it is vital that you continue to maintain the high standards of responsible behaviour you have already shown during the pandemic and continue to comply with the ongoing lockdown rules. The Government has introduced a new system of fines for illegal gatherings, up to a maximum level of £6,400. Breaking the law may result in police and University disciplinary action, so please don’t take the risk.

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

Mood Boost - booking open now

Mood Boost is a fresh approach to wellbeing run by students for students. This free 4-week course organised by the University of Brighton will help you manage your anxiety, stress and low mood, and connect with other students in a safe, caring and supportive space. It runs online via Microsoft Teams over four consecutive Wednesday afternoons between 1.30pm and 3pm. Next course starting 3 March then weekly on 10, 17 and 24 March. Find out more here >

Update for Year 1 students

In order to make sure you have plenty of notice, we wanted to let you know the plan for course delivery in Term 3. At this time, we are planning to have in-person teaching for modules 101 and 104. As such, students will be expected to be back on campus / in term time accommodation, ready to start teaching on Monday 19 April 2021.

If you are an international student, please ensure that you check the latest government guidance and information on pre-travel testing, quarantine measures and testing once you have arrived, and consider how this might impact on when you travel back to the UK.   

Generic Mits, Attendance & Financial support email for Phase 1

We appreciate some of you may be concerned about your end of year exams and other assessments and what we are doing to make these as fair as possible. As such, the following has been agreed in terms of mitigation and attendance. All students in Phase 1 were emailed on January 26 regarding mitigation, attendance and self-isolation payments. Please check your inbox or visit MyStudies for further information.

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 >

Counselling workshops for students 

The University of Sussex’s Counselling Services are running free, safe and supportive programmes for students experiencing anxiety or low mood. You can view more information and details of how to book on to a course here >

Timetable update

Please note that the Semester 2 timetable will be ready to view from Friday 29 January, initially publication will include teaching weeks through to the Easter vacation. Details of the period after the Easter break will be made available as the semester progresses.

Accommodation update

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. 

Year 1 - Update to teaching for Modules 101/103

In response to the evolving situation, we have taken the difficult decision to deliver all teaching for Year 1 students this term remotely. We understand that this will be disappointing for many of you, but we have taken this decision primarily to support student well-being. 

We are concerned that students may become isolated from their families and peers due to the reduced level of in-person teaching this term necessitated by the increased restrictions. Therefore, you do not have to return to campus for this term, although students wishing to return are assured that the library facilities remain open and available, including bookable study spaces and access to books/journals. A number of staff will continue to work on campus and the School offices will be staffed in person on a limited basis; please contact us via email in the first instance. 

Plans for delivery of teaching for students in Year 1 this term:

  • Teaching for SSCs, seminars and module tutorial tests will be delivered online as planned.
  • All anatomy teaching, including the DR sessions, will now be delivered remotely. The anatomy team are planning extra DR sessions during term 3 that will cover material from module 103, so that you do not miss out on these learning opportunities.
  • All teaching in Module 101 will now also move to remote delivery. Further details will be communicated to you next week. 

Please be assured that all learning outcomes for Modules 101 and 103 will be delivered, albeit via different learning modalities. 

Attendance for online teaching sessions will continue to be monitored for both Modules 101 and 103. It is important that you keep in touch with us by actively participating in teaching sessions. Additional points of contact include: 

  • Year and module leads will be available via Teams each week to answer any queries and to help guide your learning this term.
  • Academic tutors are available for academic support.
  • Personal Tutors are available for PPD support.
  • Student Support continue to be available for non-academic support. 

Discussion Boards are available on My Studies that should also be used to ask questions about the module content or to make more general queries. We very much hope that a return to campus for Term 3 will be possible and we look forward to seeing you all in person then. 

A message from the Secretary of State

Matt Hancock has recorded a message to all medical students. You can view this message via the video below.

Update on Semester Two – teaching and learning 

Teaching will go ahead as planned and communicated for this term.

  • Face to face teaching for placements, DR and any other scheduled face to face teaching will go ahead.
  • Teaching for SSCs, seminars and module tutorials will continue to be online as scheduled.
  • The 201 Immersion week teaching is still planned to go ahead as scheduled.

Please read the following information carefully:

  • Medical students are still classed as key workers – the new lockdown does not change this.
  • We are still planning for placements to go ahead, with the same safety measures as previously in place.
  • As always, placements may need to be cancelled or altered due to circumstances beyond our control, but we are doing whatever we can to ensure that placement activity can continue.
  • The university and government guidance states that students should take two Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) for Covid-19, three days apart, upon their return to university or they will have to isolate for ten days. 
  • Please follow the links above to book your two tests as soon as possible on your return.  For those of you who have placement on Thursday 7 or Tuesday 12 January, we appreciate this may not be possible.  Please contact the Watson School Office if you are unable to have a test before your placement.
  • We are aware that some students may need to self-isolate for a number of reasons. If this is the case and you are not able to attend a placement, please let the Watson School Office know as this will enable us to re-allocate placement opportunities where necessary and/or if possible.
  • Students who are not able to return to campus should arrange to meet with their year lead to discuss intermission.
  • Students who are quarantining are still required to follow government guidance regarding self-isolation and are not able to access the lateral flow tests.
  • Students should arrange to be tested and have had at least one negative result before attending their first in-person teaching session. 
  • Students must have a second test booked to take place at least three days after the first test. 
  • Students do not need to be based on campus to use the university testing service. 
  • All students should have the tests whether they live on campus, or in Brighton or commute to university. 
  • If you do not take a test you will need to self-isolate for ten days before attending any in-person teaching. The exception to this is if you have already tested positive for Covid-19 in the previous 90 days, or if you have tested negative in your home town immediately prior to returning. 
  • At this time, students only need to access this asymptomatic testing service (2 x lateral flow tests) at the beginning of this term - not before every placement or teaching session. 
    Students who become symptomatic at any point should isolate and request a PCR test as per the government guidance. 
  • Students who are quarantining after international travel are still required to follow government guidance regarding self-isolation and are not able to access the lateral flow tests.

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 > 

International students

I understand that our international students may have some further specific concerns. We are continuing to seek clarification from the Government on a number of issues and will write to you specifically with an update in the very near future.

In the meantime, please remember that the current guidance is that international students are being encouraged to study remotely wherever possible. Where this is not possible you will need to follow government advice, including that of your home nation before travelling and around quarantining in the UK when you arrive.

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 bsmsxxx@sussex.ac.uk).

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 studentsupport@bsms.ac.uk   

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)

Self-isolating and COVID advice

Both university websites offer comprehensive information around the practical aspects of self-isolation, including food delivery:

https://www.brighton.ac.uk/about-us/news-and-events/coronavirus/self-isolation-student-faqs.aspx

https://student.sussex.ac.uk/coronavirus/looking-after-your-wellbeing/isolation#isolate

In addition there are volunteer services that offer help with delivery of food and medicines:

NHS Volunteer Responders - can help anyone who lives in England and who needs to self-isolate for any reason

https://nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/

Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK – local community groups organising mutual aid and coordinating care efforts for people who are self-isolating,

https://covidmutualaid.org/

Face coverings

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 bssmsschooloffice@bsms.ac.uk 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. 

Attendance Update

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.

Further information

The University of Brighton has setup a new email address for students on this campus: Student-Enquiries-and-Support-l@central.bton.ac.uk

FAQs, Covid 19 student emails and related content can be found via the links below:

www.brighton.ac.uk/about-us/news-and-events/coronavirus/index.aspx#faqs 

www.brighton.ac.uk/about-us/news-and-events/coronavirus/direct-emails.aspx 

www.brighton.ac.uk/brighton-students/index.aspx

Image of student with a microscope

Information for researchers

For the latest information on undergraduate, postgraduate (taught and research degrees) and staff research following the COVID-19 outbreak, please see our dedicated webpage.

View the information for researchers page >