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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

October 2021

Risk assessments 

Both partner universities have moved from individual risk assessments (RAs) to institution RAs, with a focus on individual responsibility.

The University of Brighton's RA is available here > 
The University of Sussex's RA is available here >

More information is available from both partner universities below.

University of Sussex returning to campus >
University of Brighton Covid aware information >

Other updates for BSMS staff

  • We strongly encourage you to wear a face covering when moving around the university campuses 
  • Wash or sanitise your hands regularly 
  • Respect everyone's space and take note of signage put in place to help guide you 
  • Test and report your results regularly (twice a week) either using the Government's own testing provision 
  • If you have symptoms and receive a positive PCR test result, you should report it to the university you are based at. Report it via the University of Brighton using the self-declaration tab on MyView and the University of Sussex's reporting system here >
  • Book to receive both doses of your Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible 
  • Check in on colleagues and friends, and be kind to one other

All of our teaching spaces that don't have mechanical ventilation and hold more than seven people have been checked for natural ventilation and the number of windows that can be opened. We'll be fitting carbon dioxide monitors and setting occupancy limits for these spaces as necessary.

New signage to remind people to be Covid aware is being rolled out across all campuses as quickly as possible to reinforce the steps that we need everyone to take to help keep us all safe. This includes new directional signage and occupancy limits, which will help ensure personal space can be respected. 

Wherever possible, make sure windows are open in your teaching and working spaces, and that occupancy limits are being respected. Cleaning stations are also widely available across campus. Please ensure you clean your workspace when you arrive and when you leave. 

Returning to campus for hybrid working – book your space with your departmental administrator

Please note that staff office layouts in University of Brighton sites require staff to be sat 1m apart when side by side and a 2m distance for individuals sitting opposite each other. The University of Sussex announced a return to full capacity limits.

To book a space on either campus, please contact the relevant person from the list below.

University of Brighton:

Watson Building – open area via Heather Shaw (H.Shaw2@bsms.ac.uk). Please contact Heather if you have not received the self-booking SharePoint form. 
Department of Medical Education – Sue Brown (S.Brown@bsms.ac.uk) and Cherie Elody (C.Elody@bsms.ac.uk) 
Primary Care and Public Health – Rosie Neville/ Julie Fletcher (PrimaryCareDA@bsms.ac.uk)

University of Sussex:

Global Health and Infection – Debbie Miller (D.Miller@bsms.ac.uk)
Neuroscience – Kirsty Hart (K.Hart2@bsms.ac.uk)
Clinical and Experimental Medicine – Lisa Costick (medicineAnatomyDA@bsms.ac.uk)
Central Professional Services in the Medical Teaching Building – Lisa Costick (medicineAnatomyDA@bsms.ac.uk)

Audrey Emerton Building:

Please book via the school office.

It will be important for us to monitor occupancy levels during this gradual return. Hybrid or permanent remote working models should now have been discussed and agreed. If these are still to be held please can you discuss with your teams and identify working patterns with your line managers as soon as possible. When agreed, please can Heads of Departments and team leaders/managers send your plans for your teams to Peter Dennis Medical School Secretary at P.B.Dennis@bsms.ac.uk by 27 September.

Over the next few weeks, as many hot desks as possible will be made available with IT equipment for booking via the methods above.

Anyone with specific requirements should speak to their line manager in the first instance please. We will endeavour to provide what is needed and please be patient with this new approach of working. Many staff will have a period of adjustment, which we fully understand and flexibility will be key moving forward for all concerned.  

Share your vaccination status to help with Covid safety measures

Earlier in the summer, the University of Sussex asked staff for their views on the Covid-19 health and safety measures they would like to see as staff return to campus. In that survey, more than 90% of staff said that they would be willing to inform the University of Sussex if they had received one or both Covid-19 vaccines, providing this was done confidentially. Since then, Sussex has developed a secure way for you to share this information, and all staff employed by the university are now invited to do so. You are now able to update your vaccination status on the MyView portal. It is your choice whether you supply this information to the university, and you can update or remove this data at any time. Visit the MyView portal here >

Staff testing on campus

From Monday 9 August, on-site testing arrangements will change to allow a greater number of colleagues and students easy access to the service. On-site testing will be split between our Grand Parade, Cockcroft and Falmer. The Grand Parade and Falmer test centres will open between 8am and 1pm. Cockcroft test centre will open from 7.15am - 12.15pm on Tuesday 10 August and between 7.30am and 12.30pm on Thursday 12 and Friday 13 August. Book an onsite test here >

Returning to campus – update from the University of Sussex

The University of Sussex are welcoming staff to return to campus gradually from next week in line with Government guidance, now that most Covid-19 restrictions have been eased. The gradual return is an important phase in becoming more familiar with being back on campus - if only for one or two days a week - and get used to working with colleagues in normal surroundings as we move towards a full return for the start of the new academic year. Read our return to campus guidance.

The measures Sussex has in place

Our priority remains the safety of our staff and our students and we are guided by health and safety considerations and the latest Government advice. We’re also listening to you. Having sought the views of staff in a recent questionnaire about returning to campus, the University will ensure that a number of health and safety measures are in place to manage the Covid-19 pandemic by the start of term:

  • refreshed signage in high footfall spaces that face coverings are expected from 9 – 5pm
  • sanitiser stations in place across campus
  • Perspex screens remaining in place where requested
  • additional bins in teaching spaces
  • QR codes to support the Track & Trace app
  • ensuring ventilation systems and windows operate effectivelythe provision of lanyards or wristbands so staff can signal they’d prefer greater social distancing

Covid-19 testing will be available on campus at Bramber level 1 throughout September, and staff and students will continue to be able to collect home testing kits from several campus locations. The University will continue to strongly encourage students to be fully vaccinated and will also provide further pop-up vaccination centres, following the high take up of vaccinations at the pop-up centre hosted on campus before the end of term.

While the Government has confirmed that the requirement to wear face coverings has now been lifted, there is an expectation and recommendation that they are worn in crowded spaces, such as public transport – and new signage will make it clear that this is the University’s expectation in busy areas across campus too.

To make sure staff are familiar with all our Covid measures and the new Remote Working Framework, we'll also soon be in touch with details of webinars taking place in August and September allowing you to ask senior managers all the questions you may have. 

Roadmap out of lockdown

In light of the move to the fourth and final stage of the Government’s roadmap for exiting lockdown on Monday 19 July, the University of Brighton has taken the decision that all of its existing Covid measures will remain in place for the time being. Over the coming weeks, the university will continue to review the situation and update its risk assessment appropriately. The recently communicated information about working on campus over the summer period will continue to guide its approach over this period and this includes the ability for colleagues to continue to work from home where they are able to do so. As well as being able to test at home, the university continues to offer testing to all staff and students.

The University of Sussex will be encouraging a gradual return to working on campus over August and early September, as it works towards a fuller return for the start of the academic year. Many staff have been working on campus throughout the pandemic and the university is very grateful for everything they have done to keep  campus services running.

Building on the successful actions and responses the university put in place last year, this academic year it already has plans in place to:

  • Offer testing to all students during Welcome Week
  • Provide staff and students with home testing kits
  • Work with the campus GP surgery to arrange more pop-up vaccination clinics
  • Continue the close liaison with the Brighton & Hove Director of Public Health and team to respond to any local outbreaks
  • Continue its award-winning reporting and test and trace system and offer students who need to self-isolate its comprehensive support package.

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 below). 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 >

Staff updates

On Monday 17 May, we will reach the third step of the Government’s roadmap for exiting lockdown in England. Alongside other changes, most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted (gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal) and two households or up to six people from separate households will be able to meet up indoors. Existing Covid-secure measures implemented by the University, such as the wearing of face coverings, social distancing, frequent hand washing and the following of one-way systems will remain unchanged. Read the full list of changes to restrictions here >

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.

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.

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.

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).

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 

October 2021

Covid-19 BSMS guidance – Phase 1

This email contains the COVID-19 BSMS guidance for all students to read and familiarise themselves with. It contains general guidance for all students about what is expected of them during term. It also contains guidance on what to do if you become symptomatic, test positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact of someone who does and how this may affect your teaching and clinical placements. 

In all cases, in the first instance you should follow the guidance from the UK government website. If you are unsure after looking at the website, you should contact NHS 119 for further advice. 

The UK government website can be found here > 

The BSMS School Offices cannot offer guidance on whether you should self-isolate, just information on BSMS specific information such as attending teaching and placements. 

It is the responsibility of individual students to advise the School Offices (the main Phase 1 School Office / Watson School Office) if you are having to self-isolate because of being symptomatic or because you are a close contact. If a School Office asks you for further information about yourself or close contacts, please provide this as soon as possible. 

The School Office email addresses are:
Main Phase 1 School Office – BSMSSchoolOffice@bsms.ac.uk
Watson School Office – WatsonSchoolOffice@bsms.ac.uk 

Further information can also be found in all modules areas on My Studies in the assessment sections.  

Take part in Public Health England's Covid questionnaire

Are you a university student studying a healthcare science? If yes, Public Health England you like to help us better understand knowledge and attitudes towards Covid-19 vaccines? Taking part involves completing a short questionnaire. 

Find out more and complete the survey here >

Announcement for teaching delivery for Phase 1 for new academic year

All teaching due to take place on the University of Sussex campus for the new academic year 2021/22 will be delivered in person on campus. This includes larger group sessions such as lectures and Anatomy Dissection (DR) and small group teaching such as Academic Skills tutorials, SSC sessions, and module tutorials.   

All teaching due to take place on the University of Brighton campus (for Modules 101 and 201) will also be delivered in person on campus, with the exception of the morning large group lectures which will continue to be taught online. All seminars, workshops and placements will be delivered in person. 

Face coverings are recommended in large gatherings where it is not possible to distance yourself from other persons.

Be Covid aware

We know you might feel anxious about mixing with new people in larger numbers - especially after months of restrictions. We are asking everyone on campus to take some simple steps to be covid aware, to make the transition as seamless, simple, and stress-free as possible. These steps are: 

  • We strongly encourage you to wear a face covering when moving around the university.
  • Wash or sanitise your hands regularly.
  • Respect everyone’s space and take note of signage put in place to help guide you.
  • Receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.
  • Keep taking regular lateral flow tests and report your results online - search for University of Brighton in the list of providers.
  • Check in on friends and be kind to yourself and others.

Vaccinations

The University of Sussex remains committed to strongly encouraging all students and staff to get vaccinated against Covid-19. Vaccination uptake in conjunction with our other Covid Health and Safety arrangements will help to minimise infections and disruption to our students, staff and our whole campus community. The University of Sussex particularly want students to get both of their Covid vaccinations as soon as they can to help reduce any incidences of Covid in the Autumn term. To encourage and thank students for getting their full vaccinations, the University will be running a prize draw of 10 x £5,000 cash prizes on the 30 November 2021. All BSMS students (Yrs 1-5) will be included in the prize draw.

Professor Adam Tickell, Vice Chancellor said: “Vaccines are far and away our best opportunity to keep Covid at bay and we want to do everything possible to maximise take-up. We are determined to provide a university experience as close as possible to normal, which includes a return to mostly in-person teaching and learning. We know that many students will have already had their vaccines or are planning to. If we can boost those numbers even slightly through a simple intervention like this, then of course we are going to do so. Whilst these are significant prizes for our students, the cost to the University is small compared with the human, social and financial cost if students and our staff were to experience the kind of disruption we faced last year.” 

The prize will be open to students who are registered and who are attending a course in person on the Falmer campus in the Autumn Term 2021, unless they choose to opt out. Ten student’s names will be drawn at random on the 30 November. Students who have received their second vaccine by 7 December, or can demonstrate that they are unable to receive vaccinations due to medical reasons will receive one of the ten £5,000 prizes. 

More details about the prize draw, terms and conditions can be found on the Student Hub’s ‘Vaccinations for Covid-19’ information page, including how personal data will be processed and information on how students may opt out of the prize draw

Changes to health status – Covid risk assessment for return to study

This is a reminder that should your health status have changed, especially if this means a change to your Covid risk assessment, that you are required to contact Student Support who may need to refer you to Occupational Health. This must be done prior to your return in September.  If your status changes during the next academic year, you should also contact student support as soon as possible.  If you are uncertain as to whether any changes will impact on your status, again please contact Student Support at StudentSupport@bsms.ac.uk.

Roadmap out of lockdown

In light of the move to the fourth and final stage of the Government’s roadmap for exiting lockdown on Monday 19 July, the University of Brighton has taken the decision that all of its existing Covid measures will remain in place for the time being. Over the coming weeks, the university will continue to review the situation and update its risk assessment appropriately. The recently communicated information about working on campus over the summer period will continue to guide its approach over this period and this includes the ability for colleagues to continue to work from home where they are able to do so. As well as being able to test at home, the university continues to offer testing to all staff and students.

The University of Sussex will be encouraging a gradual return to working on campus over August and early September, as it works towards a fuller return for the start of the academic year. Many staff have been working on campus throughout the pandemic and the university is very grateful for everything they have done to keep  campus services running.

Building on the successful actions and responses the university put in place last year, this academic year it already has plans in place to:

  • Offer testing to all students during Welcome Week
  • Provide staff and students with home testing kits
  • Work with the campus GP surgery to arrange more pop-up vaccination clinics
  • Continue the close liaison with the Brighton & Hove Director of Public Health and team to respond to any local outbreaks
  • Continue its award-winning reporting and test and trace system and offer students who need to self-isolate its comprehensive support package.

Vaccination update

All adults in England (those aged 18 and over) are now eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine as part of the Government’s nationwide vaccination programme (regardless of nationality or immigration status). 

The vaccine is being offered at local sites run by GPs or community pharmacies, at larger vaccination centres and in some hospitals. ‘Pop up’ temporary clinics at convenient locations are also available in some areas. 

How to book

If you are registered with a GP, you can book an appointment at a larger vaccination centre, a community pharmacy run site, or at some GP run sites through the National Booking Service website or by phoning 119. Whilst being registered with a GP is encouraged to access the vaccination programme, you can still request to book a vaccination as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice. 

If you are registered with a GP in your hometown, but not where you study or vice-versa, you can use the National Booking Service to book both your appointments online at a location that is convenient for you. Alternatively, you can book a first dose through your GP and a second dose at a different location through the National Booking Service. If you have moved location between your first and second dose, you can use the National Booking Service to book or rearrange your second vaccination appointment at a different location to your first.

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

COVID-19 isolation support payments update If you’re a BSMS student living in University of Sussex accommodation, who is self-isolating due to COVID-19 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 >

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. 

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)

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 >