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More than 600 engineers volunteer to support NHS field hospitals in one day

Joseph Flaig

The new Nightingale field hospital at the Excel Centre in London (Credit: Shutterstock)
The new Nightingale field hospital at the Excel Centre in London (Credit: Shutterstock)

Volunteering sign-up for engineers to support frontline work at three new coronavirus field hospitals has closed, after more than 600 engineers applied in less than 24 hours.

NHS England had appealed for volunteers with a range of engineering skills to help keep frontline services running at the new facilities in London, Manchester and Birmingham, which could care for more than 4,000 patients. Surrounding trusts will also need support as clinical engineers are transferred to the new facilities.

The Royal Academy of Engineering hosted the application form and information, and said applicants are now being contacted.

“We just want to say a big thank you to everyone - we've been blown away by the number of responses we've received,” said the Royal Academy on Twitter.

Dr Helen Meese, IMechE trustee and founder of The Care Machine, is working with the NHS to help fill engineering roles. Writing on Twitter to the country’s professional engineering institutions, engineers, technicians and the sector as a whole, she said: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have stepped up to the plate and without question volunteered to help with the #covid19 crisis in the most amazing way.

“600 of you have signed up to the call for volunteers on the @RAEngNews website in less than 24 hours. From every type of discipline and sector you have, as a community, demonstrated your commitment to engineering excellence & social responsibility.

“We have now closed the call for field hospitals in London, Manchester and Birmingham.

“But, your help is still needed. We will be opening the call up again tomorrow morning to ask for volunteers for a number of other sites across the UK.”

The focus will soon shift to volunteers needed for other field hospitals. According to ITV, facilities are being developed in Glasgow, Cumbria and Wales, and several sites are being considered in Northern Ireland.

The Royal Academy website will host details of the volunteers required. The role description posted this week called for a variety of skills, including maintenance of medical machines, managerial support and calibration of test equipment.


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Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. 

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