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Supporting NHS on COVID-19

Parveen Yaqoob

This message from Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Parveen Yaqoob on Covid-19 related support to NHS has been sent to all colleagues at the University.

Dear colleagues,

Across the country, universities have been providing critical support to the NHS as it faces its greatest challenge to date, from research on COVID-19 to donating protective equipment. Over the next few weeks, you will hear about the many ways in which we at the University of Reading are supporting our valued local NHS Trust.

Some of you have already been approached directly by colleagues at the Royal Berkshire Hospital and together you are working on solutions for better treatment and welfare of patients and better protection and welfare of NHS staff. Thank you for your efforts and your willingness to push the boundaries in terms of what is possible. I’ve seen first hand the pressure that the NHS is under and I’ve been truly impressed by your motivation and desire to help.

Over the last week, I have had a sense that the requests for help for specialist expertise are increasing and so I thought it would be helpful to set out some guidance for handling incoming requests so that we can respond effectively, but with a duty of care to both University staff and to NHS partners.

If you are approached for help by a contact at the NHS, please notify Emily Brady ( in the first instance. We often receive multiple requests for the same type of help, so it may be that the need is already being dealt with.

Please flag the opportunity to Emily BEFORE making a commitment and ensure that any internal e mail discussion prior to a decision being made does not include the external partner.

Most requests require some form of central support, which may include access to buildings, advice on risk assessments, legal indemnity, purchase of supplies etc. It is critical that we talk you through these before a commitment is agreed. We have fortunately been able to turn requests around very quickly thanks to the dedicated efforts of the relevant teams.

Thank you once again for your efforts in supporting the University and the NHS. I look forward to sharing some of the details of the work we are doing in due course.

Kind regards,


Professor Parveen Yaqoob

Deputy Vice-Chancellor

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