COVID-19: Supporting the NHS

Clinical Simulation Centre - COVID-19 Training

Clinical Simulation Centre staff providing non critical care staff with ITU skills


Playing a key role

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) emerged in the UK, the University of South Wales’s Clinical Simulation Centre has played a key role in the effort to fight the pandemic. 

The Centre is helping to prepare nurses from USW’s local health board partner organisations to care for individuals who are seriously ill. The training sessions were held at the request of Health Education Improvement Wales (HEIW), who support NHS Wales with training, education and workforce development needs. 

As part of the training, nurses who have a varied range of experience in caring for patients in Intensive Care Units have been able to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of working in this highly specialised area of nursing.  

Sharing our unique assets

Matthew Thornton, Head of Practice-based Learning at USW, said: “Given the nature of coronavirus and the numbers of people affected, it is likely that we will see relatively high numbers of people requiring specialist care. 

“The Simulation Centre and its specialist staff are a unique asset, and we’re proud to be able to help support our NHS during this extremely difficult time.” 

USW has also provided vital PPE (personal protective equipment) to Cwm Taf University Health Board, to be used by staff at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital.  

In total, the University has supplied plastic aprons, surgical face masks, protective goggles, Tuffie disinfectant wipes, Clinell infection control wipes and surgical gloves – all of which would normally be used by nursing and midwifery students for their simulated learning. 

Producing specialist training videos

As well as staff training and the donation of PPE, USW staff have used the Centre’s facilities to help produce a training video for Phillips Healthcare, who are in the process of producing large numbers of ventilators – specialist equipment used to treat a patient when their own respiratory system fails. Follow the Clinical Simulation Centre on Twitter.

360-degree video of the Clinical Simulation Centre


Working together

Ruth Northway, professor of learning disability nursing, has been assisting Social Care Wales with identifying key sources of information for inclusion in their Covid-19 web pages to support social care workers. 


Ruth Northway, Stuart Todd, Jane Bernal (Assoc Fellow) and Steve Beyer (Cardiff University)  are working with Public Health Wales to determine the feasibility of accessing data to look at acute hospital admissions and outcomes (including death) for people with learning disability  in Wales in the current period compared to previous years. 


Stuart Todd has set up an international collaboration of learning disability researchers with an interest in end of life care and bereavement in learning disabilities to share thoughts and possible approaches on how to research the implications of current pandemic on patterns and nature of mortality in people with learning disabilities.  It aims to help address national issues and explore the possibilities of developing an international account of the pandemic. "The pandemic is likely to increase the extent to which services and carers supporting families will have to provide care at the end of life to people with learning disabilities. It is also likely that people with learning disabilities will more likely experience  bereavement, especially complex bereavement, said Dr Todd. It is hoped that the collaboration will identify ways to document  and describe those changes and how they impact upon individuals.  


USW has been awarded £996K from Research Capacity Building Collaboration (RCBC) Wales. The five-year project, led by USW, comprises six university nursing and allied health departments in Wales which cooperate to provide shared infrastructure and support for research fellowships across the research trajectory.


USW spin-out company SafeMedicate is supporting healthcare professionals with Covid-19 competence updates. A new drug dosage calculation training module has been made available - free of charge - to all NHS nurses and midwives, and care home staff, across the UK. Read more >>>


USW's Professional Development Centre are working in partnership to deliver pro bono coaching sessions to the NHS front line staff at Powys Teaching Health board (PTHB). Read more >>>


Call for industry collaborations

We're interested in collaborating with businesses, organisations and innovators who are applying for Welsh Government funding to develop or manufacture healthcare devices, equipment and solutions in the fight against coronavirus. 

We offer academic expertise, R&D facilities and a strong track record in applied research. Contact us today.


Contact us

If you would like to work with us or have suggestions of how we can support you or your organisation, please get in touch.