Since the early days of the pandemic, staff at LSTM’s Well Travelled Clinics (WTC) have played a significant role in supporting LSTM and local NHS and PHE health care teams in their response to COVID-19.
The WTC Liverpool branch remained open throughout the pandemic, continuing to offer a vaccination and occupational travel service to ensure that key workers and international staff could continue to be deployed.
WTC’s highly experienced staff were utilised for a number of COVID-19 specific roles. This included two Occupational Health nurses to the Liverpool University Hospital Foundation Trust (LUHFT) to get those returning to the NHS as part of the pandemic response into their roles as quickly as possible. More recently, three members of nursing staff have been temporarily seconded to Public Health England to help support the COVID-advisory service, which has been overwhelmed with the volume of enquiries from local councils, schools, colleges, universities, nursing homes as well as companies regarding COVID-19.
With further vaccine trials in the pipeline, WTC is in discussion with the ARC and CRN to provide their experience and expertise in vaccination to provide continued support for these.
WTC nursing staff have also supported other local COVID research studies through the secondment of nursing staff. This included the SAFER and FASTER research trials at LUHFT, being run by the ARC research team, and the University of Liverpool’s COV-LIV community study.
WTC’s education staff have also been involved in vaccine training and education to support the Northwest Coast Clinical Research Network (CRN), by delivering a bespoke training course to a group of CRN nurses so they can take part in vaccine trials, this is to ensure that we have enough qualified nurses with experience in vaccination for future clinical trials.
Most recently the WTC started offering a new back-up COVID-19 testing service for symptomatic LSTM staff and students who are unable to access NHS rapid testing because of the current pressure on the service. A special testing tent has been set up at the back of WTC and protocols have been put in place to manage the process.
The WTC’s commercial agility and flexibility, together with the previous experience in managing the healthcare needs of rapid humanitarian deployments, have proved invaluable in delivering a swift and targeted response to the pandemic.