Given the scale of the national and global challenge of COVID-19, the NHS is facing unprecedented pressure on services. King’s has released all clinical academics from their current responsibilities should they wish to contribute to frontline care.
In an email to staff, Professor Ian Everall, Executive Dean Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) and Professor Richard Trembath, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine said: ‘As a medical community, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to bolster the NHS frontline response’. Both Professor Everall and Professor Trembath have volunteered themselves.
Psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and other staff from the IoPPN Academic Psychiatry Division and Psychology & Systems Sciences Division will be providing support to help with staffing and oversight of the service for South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM). Professor Dame Til Wykes Vice-Dean Psychology & Systems Sciences at IoPPN is helping Dr Alison Beck, Head of Psychology to set up a supportive advice line for NHS staff. This is based on their previous work supporting staff in Sierra Leone during the Ebola epidemic. Staff from the IoPPN’s Division of Neuroscience will be volunteering for King’s College Hospital in both clinical and lab roles.
In addition to staff support and research, IoPPN Senior Management are working to free up laboratory space for Covid-19 testing as well as providing an inventory of all the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines on site, to amplify NHS resources and increase the number of tests that can be carried out.