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City supports international efforts against coronavirus

City staff and students have joined international efforts against Covid-19.

by City Press Office (General enquiries)

From training schemes designed for those on the NHS front line, to expert comment in the media advising the public, to voluntarily services set up by students; the City community is playing its important part in the international effort against Covid-19.

Professor Zoe Radnor, Vice-President (Strategy and Planning; Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) said: “City has a long history of civic engagement, dating back to our founding principles in 1894. This commitment is now even stronger than ever; as universities, governing bodies, local and national institutions and members of the public join together to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are very proud of how staff and students from across City are using their strengths, expertise and initiative to support these efforts. From staff and students taking up placements in the healthcare workforce, to volunteers preparing healthy meals for NHS workers, to academics providing expert advice to Government and the media. Thank you to all those who are making such a valuable contribution”.

City's efforts against Covid-19

Highlights of City's efforts against the coronavirus pandemic have been grouped into four themes: Health and Social Care, Research and Enterprise, Volunteering and Community Support and Academic and Expert comment.

Health and Social Care

Student nurses and midwives showing strength in support of NHS

Hundreds of nursing and midwifery students from City, University of London, in their final or second year of study, have elected to undertake extended clinical placements within the NHS.

Full story

City professor supports training for nurses at ‘NHS Nightingale Hospital’

Leanne Aitken, Professor of Critical Care at City, University of London is supporting the education and training efforts of nurses at the newly developed ‘NHS Nightingale Hospital’ in East London.

Full story

City professor writes joint letters to Government calling for improvements to our food supply chain planning

Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City, wrote to the Prime Minister with fellow experts to share their recommendations, including health-based rationing of food scheme. They followed up with a letter to George Eustace, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive, Public Health England, urging better informed food supply chain planning in light of the crisis. The letters have received widespread coverage in the national press.

Midwifery Unit Network publish position statement

The network’s position statement sets out how midwifery units can make a positive contribution when NHS maternity services are stretched to the limit by the effects of the ongoing crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Midwifery Unit Network is led by Dr Lucia Rocca Ihenacho at the School of Health Sciences, who has also co-authored a special article in the Global Journal of Health Science, in collaboration with Cristina Alonso , Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, entitled, ‘Where do women birth during a pandemic? Changing perspectives on Safe Motherhood during the COVID-19 pandemic’.

My Home Life video series to support Care Home Managers

Based at City, the My Home Life project is  delivering a series of weekly YouTube videos to provide support and guidance to Care Home Managers during the current Covid-19 pandemic. Presented by Senior Development Officer at My Home Life, Jennifer Lindfield.

Review of the symptoms of Covid-19 with University of Oxford

Melina Michelen, and Dr Charitini Stavropoulou, School of Health Sciences, have co-authored a non-peer-reviewed review of the symptoms of Covid-19 in collaboration with the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford, entitled,’ In patients of Covid-19, what are the symptoms and clinical features of mild and moderate cases? '

City academic conducting research into domestic abuse cases in lockdown

Dr Katrin Hohl, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at City, is leading on a project informing police approach to the apparent surge in domestic violence and abuse triggered by lockdown in the UK.

Domestic homicides have increased by 50% since the start of lockdown, and domestic abuse charities have reported dramatic rise in calls for help.

The project has received a £178,000 UKRI Covid-19 priority research grant. Starting in June 2020 and running until May 2021, it will be the largest and most rigorous analysis of police domestic abuse case file data conducted anywhere in the world.

Research and Enterprise

Business Resilience Fund for City start-ups

The City Ventures Team, Research and Enterprise Team and Santander Universities UK have set up the Business Resilience Fund to safeguard City start-ups.

The fund provides grants of up to £5,000 for City Start-ups to pivot, develop strategies, products, and resources that help companies to adapt and lay the foundations to withstand periods of instability and uncertainty.

Volunteering and Community Support

Supplying, distributing and campaigning for vital PPE

Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics donates 1000 facemasks to City

Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA) has donated 1,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) face-masks to City’s health sciences students volunteering and serving at the NHS Nightingale Hospital.

City alum helps to distribute 6.5 million pieces of PPE to frontline workers

After contracting and recovering from the virus himself, City alum Dries Jennen (MBA, 2017) sought to help those who come into daily contact with Covid-19. Together with other entrepreneurs, Dries organised the purchase and delivery of 6.5 million articles of protective equipment such as masks, respirators, gowns and gloves to be distributed to hospitals, care homes, schools and charities throughout Germany and Belgium.

Cass alumnus uses printing start-up to design and donate face shields in the UAE

Cass alumnus Julian Callanan (Executive MBA in Dubai, 2015) and his 3D technology printing start-up, Sinterex, has been designing and donating face shields to healthcare workers in the United Arab Emirates. So far Sinterex has donated over 1000 face shields to hospitals across the UAE.

Printing face shields at home

Paulo Leal, Network Team Leader in City’s IT department, has been 3D-printing face shield frames at home as part of the volunteer group, 3D Crowd. Paulo prints 10 frames a day before arranging a collection where the shields are finished and distributed to hospitals and clinics – and has now supplied over 200 to NHS staff.

Campaigning for PPE that allow Sikh and Muslim workers to retain their dignity

Rohit Sagoo, Lecturer in Children’s Nursing at City and founder of British Sikh Nurses, has been campaigning for PPE that puts patient care and safety first but still allows Sikh and Muslim workers to retain their dignity and respects the tenets of their religions.

Writing for Metro, he comments:

“We need to take pride in our BAME nurses. They make up a huge number of the workforce and a lot of them have lost their lives after leaving their homes and countries to come here, put their all in and take care of the British public.”

The City Emergency Fund

The City Emergency Fund offers a grant of up to £500 to any student facing financial difficulty in the current situation.

See grant details.

City research associate helps keep NHS staff fed

Miodrag Vidakovic, Research Associate at City, has been cooking healthy, fresh meals for medical staff at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust.

Along with 200 other volunteers, Miodrag has been cooking meals for UCLH staff as part of an initiative called Furloughed Foodies, where each volunteer donates money towards ingredients and arranges deliveries to local NHS trusts. The initiative has been featured in The I.

For more information on how to join the initiative see this volunteer form.

CitySport offers free workout sessions on Instagram

From yoga and Pilates to bootcamp and HIIT, CitySport is offering free online exercise sessions on their YouTube channel and Instagram.

For more information see here.

City Library Science students set up food bank for vulnerable Londoners

City Library Science postgraduate students have teamed up with Age UK to create a temporary emergency food bank for vulnerable citizens in the City of London.

Full story.

Promoting a ‘kindness contagion’ through comics

Dr Ernesto Priego, a Human-Computer Interaction Design Lecturer at City, has co-designed a comic titled Community Matters: Please Be Kind, in response to a Covid-19 accessibility appeal.

The project, which is based on the individual experiences of a blind person, was prompted by the Royal National Institute for Blind People’s #InfoForAll inclusion campaign, as well as calls from the United Nations for visual outputs promoting a ‘kindness contagion’.

Providing support from home for people with communication impairment

Sally McVicker, Research Associate in City’s School of Health Sciences, has facilitated a virtual service to support members of the charity she coordinates, Aphasia Re-Connect. Sally has recruited approximately 70 language and communication science student volunteers from City and University College London, to become ‘conversation buddies’, supporting people with communication disability.

The volunteer buddies provide weekly contact to the members, many of who are currently isolated at home, either by phone, email or video call.

Widening Participation team support young people impacted by digital poverty

City, University of London’s Widening Participation (WP) team has been finding new ways to support families and young people in the community with little or no access to technology or the internet.

The team has developed resource packs for Key Stages 1-3 to be distributed via community groups and schools, including workbooks and stationery. The packs were prepared and delivered to schools, food banks and women’s refuges in the community, with hugely positive responses.

City’s academics provide expert comment on Covid-19 in the news

Academics from City, University of London have been providing expert comment and advice, based on their research, about the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

They have offered expert insights about the domestic and international response to the pandemic to help inform policy makers, the media and the public.

Academic and Expert Comment

Feeding Britain, Our Food Problems and How to Fix Them

Professor Tim Lang, Centre for Food Policy at City, published his new book, Feeding Britain.

The book calls for an overhaul of national food infrastructure, new regional supply systems, the rebuilding of horticulture and phasing-down of inefficient cattle culture, while beginning a cross-party, decades-long shift in consumer behaviour to eat sustainable diets. Professor Lang’s work was featured in The Guardian, The Telegraph, Evening Standard and The Times.

Full story

Lecturer in Journalism and medical historian offers comment

Dr Mark Honigsbaum, Lecturer in Journalism and author of The Pandemic Century, has featured in multiple stories discussing the impact of coronavirus compared to other diseases, in Russia Today and Aljazeera.

Dr Hoigsbaum was also featured in The Telegraph discussing how leaders like Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, have contracted coronavirus and an Express story discussing the pandemic and the Royal Family.

Dr Hoigsbaum also discusses facts, figures and projections in his new Covid-19 podcast

We must act before coronavirus sinks the press as we know it

Professor Jane Martinson calls on the government, tech giants to do more to support the media industry in her column in, The Guardian.

Professor Muttukrishnan Rajarajan discusses recent cyber security threats

The Director of City’s Institute for Cyber Security outlines a few areas of concern and focus as the Covid-19 crisis sees a shift to home-working, featured in international press including, Tabularasa and Autocad.

Full story

Pooling ICU facilities to improve care for Covid-19 patients

Dr Navid Izady, an operations research expert at Cass Business School has developed a model which pools intensive care unit (ICU) facilities to improve care for Covid-19 patients.

The model identifies the optimal subset of NHS trusts whose ICU capacity should be dedicated to Covid-19 patients so as to maximise the coverage of current virus hotspots, subject to moving non-Covid-19 patients no further than a certain distance away from their existing facilities.

Full story

Drug companies should drop their patents and collaborate to fight coronavirus

Dr Enrico Bonadio, Reader in Intellectual Property Law, City Law School and Dr Andrea Baldini, Associate Professor of Aesthetics and Art Theory, Nanjing University, call for companies to waive any proprietary rights they may have in order to facilitate the dissemination of drugs and devices that are useful in the fight against Covid-19.

Full story

Understanding China’s Healthcare System

Dr Yaru Chen, Centre for Healthcare Innovation Research (CHIR) spoke to the BBC World Service on the current state of the healthcare system in China within the context of the coronavirus outbreak.

Full story

The psychological effects of social isolation

Dr Andreas Kappes, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology has spoken live with Al Jazeera English about Covid-19, including on its ‘The Stream’ show, and Inside Story, programme, discussing mental health, and public messaging during the crisis.

Dr Kappes also spoke on Talk Radio’s Matthew Wright Show about the psychological effects of social isolation during the crisis.

Covid-19 information overload leading to unhelpful choices

Two City professors say the coronavirus pandemic has given rise to a relentless flood of information which leads people to pick out the bizarre and sensational.

The TMI (too much information) effect has led to the danger of information overload - a phenomenon studied for over twenty years by Professor David Bawden and Dr Lyn Robinson of City, University of London’s Department of Library and Information Science. Featured in News Medical Life Sciences and Phys Org.

Full story.

Why we should be sceptical about the benevolence of billionaires

Dr David Blunt, Lecturer, Department of International Politics on why we should be sceptical about philanthropic billionaires. For The Conversation.

Biggest companies pay the least tax, leaving society more vulnerable to pandemic – new research

Dr Sandy Hager, Senior Lecturer, Department of International Politics’ wrote for The Conversation on the very largest companies paying the least tax and why this is a problem during a pandemic.

Covering Covid-19 raises ethical considerations for journalists

Dr Zahera Harb, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Journalism, interviewed for the Ethical Journalism Network’s podcast.

How coronavirus will change the face of general practice forever

Department of Journalism Visiting Professor, Jacqui Thornton wrote for the BMJ on how GPs say that the coronavirus pandemic will change the way they work forever.

Will coronavirus be the turning point for globalisation?

Professor Steve Schifferes, a former Department of Journalism academic and now a Department of International Politics Honorary Research Fellow, wrote for The Conversation discussing the lasting effects that coronavirus may have on the world and globalisation.

How coronavirus is threatening the equal access principle at the core of the NHS

Dr Sabrina Germain, Senior Lecturer in The City Law School, features in The Conversation, discussing how a return to the principles of equality and universality of care that informed the NHS 70 years ago could be impossible.

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