Coronavirus
Information for current students and staff

At this time, the health and wellbeing of our staff, students and the communities around us continues to be our primary concern.

We continue to follow all national advice from central government, Public Health England, and other relevant national bodies and are taking the necessary action.

Following the Prime Minister's latest announcement, we must now act and have closed all sites of the University with immediate effect. The only exceptions to this are our halls of residence.

Until the end of the academic year, we are delivering all higher education online. All University-hosted public lectures, conferences and seminars between now and the end of May are cancelled or postponed.

We are providing as much support and advice to our staff and students as possible to ensure that our students continue to benefit from the very best educational experience we can give them.

All the latest government guidance on what you need to do can be found here https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

If you have been diagnosed with COVID –19 or are being tested for COVID-19 please email PHConcerns@derby.ac.uk (HE students) or PHConcerns@blc.ac.uk (FE students).

Travel

We have paused all international travel for staff and students. All non-essential business travel across the UK has been stopped until further notice.

Attending university

We have now stopped all face-to-face teaching and moved to delivering all higher education teaching online. 

There is no-one living in halls of residence with a confirmed case of coronavirus. Our Student Living accommodation is open as normal if you wish to remain living there.

If you decide to leave your Student Living accommodation now, you will be released from your third term halls fees. In order to qualify for this you will need to vacate your room no later than 4pm on Sunday 12 April 2020, return the keys through the staff letterbox, and complete the form that has been emailed to you indicating that you have moved out.

We recommend students who are still in halls but wish to take up this offer, vacate their room as soon as possible in case Government rules in relation to movement change suddenly and you are prevented from traveling home.

We are aware some students may have already left without returning their keys or with belongings still in their flat.  If this applies to you, you will still qualify for release if you are not intending to stay in your halls accommodation again this academic year. Please indicate on the form that you still have the key, along with any information about personal belongings left in your room and we will contact you at a future date to advise on arrangements around these. 

We are aware that several students from different countries have been advised to return home by authorities / governments in those countries. If you have been advised to return home or wish to as a result of coronavirus, please ensure you take the following action:

  • If you are on a Tier IV visa please contact the International Student Centre informing them of your intention to return or if you have returned home already
  • If you are not on a Tier IV visa, please contact your College Student Centre informing them of your intention to return or if you have returned home already

The decision to travel is yours to make. However, you may wish to carefully consider the following particularly if the travel is avoidable:

  • If you are booking flights, ensure that you have valid travel insurance in case you need to cancel.
  • If the country you are travelling to becomes an area affected by the coronavirus, you may not be able to return to the UK immediately which may affect your studies.

We recognise that current events and uncertainty may have impacted your ability to prepare for your assessments.

Therefore we are offering all students a seven day calendar extension to the published hand-in date of any assessments due before the end of the academic year. You do not need to request this extension, it will be applied automatically. If, however, you do still require an additional Exceptional Extenuating Circumstances (EECs) on top of this automatic extension, please apply for this in the usual way (see UDo Student Centre tile > Assessments - for guidance).

We do not wish to place any additional burden on the NHS by asking for medical evidence to support EEC claims therefore these will not be required at this time. Recognising that this is a period of disruption across the UK, the University has initiated its procedures in relation to a period of major disruption. This means that assessment boards will apply due consideration to the impact on all affected students who have informed their College Student Centre.

Please see the amendments to the University's Exceptional Extenuating Circumstances (EECs) for further information.

What is the University doing about coronavirus?

We have moved to delivering online learning for all HE subjects. All face-to-face teaching has ceased.

A group of senior University staff are holding regular discussions on the latest official advice and government policy, and making decisions on what action we need to take in response to this. Other groups are discussing how we will approach things in the longer term to ensure we can continue to operate as a university.

We have been regularly emailing our staff and students with the latest news and advice and will continue to update these Q&A’s with new information as and when we receive it.

We have maintained our high standards of domestic cleaning as part of our coronavirus response.

Our cleaning regime is compliant with welfare regulations, and areas have been cleaned at appropriate frequencies and with carefully chosen chemicals to ensure that hygiene and environmental standards are maintained. In line with recently issued government advice, our cleaning team increased how often they attended to frequently touched objects such as door handles to building entrances, and hand sanitiser gel is installed at the entrances to all our sites.

We're working with and providing a wide range of support to the NHS, local councils, organisations and communities across the city and county. Learn more about how we're supporting the community

How can I look after myself?

The government has issued information about how coronavirus is spread and how to avoid catching or spreading germs.

The best way to slow the spread of almost any germs, including coronavirus, is to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, and avoid touching your face.

If you are unwell, carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze - bin the tissue, and wash your hands with soap and water, or use a sanitiser gel.

Advice from the NHS and Public Health England states that following hygiene precautions such as thoroughly washing hands with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue if you cough or sneeze, and keeping surfaces clean, are the best ways to avoid catching or spreading the virus. There is little evidence that masks are effective in preventing the spread of the virus.

However, it is a recognised custom for some communities to wear face masks to protect themselves and others from the possibility of infection. It does not mean they are a carrier of the virus. It is very important that we recognise and respect this custom. We would encourage all members of our community to be inclusive and supportive of this personal choice.

We understand that the coronavirus outbreak may impact your mental health and wellbeing. Students can find some helpful information and guidance here. Staff can access a confidential and impartial advice service here.

Health and Social Care students currently on work placement

This guidance was last updated on Monday, 6 April, at 3pm.

Clinical placements have very effective processes in place to manage patients with coronavirus. Please follow the guidance and policies in your work placement. Students who may be required to deliver clinical care to affected patients should have the necessary skills and knowledge, including infection prevention and control measures needed to work in such environments.  

If you are a healthcare student in a work placement and have any concerns about your ability to provide care to patients affected by COVID-19, please speak with your practice supervisor, practice educator, clinical educator or the Health and Social Care (HSC) College Student Centre placements team by email: hsc@derby.ac.uk.

Please follow the government guidelines. If the vulnerable person is shielding, there is specific guidance for others whom they live with.

Ask your practice supervisor / practice educator / clinical educator if the work placement has also issued any additional guidance you can follow too. If you decide to self isolate in order to protect the vulnerable person you live with, it is important that you report this using the placement absences process:

You will be offered individual support and advice around academic and practice learning support, as necessary.

Under the current government guidance, if you come into contact with someone with the virus, you may be asked to self-isolate. It is important that you report this using the placement absences process:   

Email: placementabsences@derby.ac.uk for all programmes across HSC
Tel: +44(0)1332 592099

You will be offered individual support and advice around academic and practice learning support, as necessary.

Please notify your work placement as soon as possible. Please report the absence to the HSC College Student Centre.

Email: placementabsences@derby.ac.uk for all programmes across HSC
Tel: +44(0)1332 592099
It is important that you stipulate the reason for your absence.

No, this alone will not result in a failed placement. The University will endeavour to find an alternative placement if at all possible. Where this is not possible, your programme leader will contact you regarding arrangements for making up hours and meeting your standards/competencies as quickly as they can.

We are aware that one of the issues that will cause greatest anxiety, particularly among final year students, is how the COVID-19 outbreak may impact on their ability to undertake the required practice hours.

However, please be reassured that we will be taking a supportive approach to enable the accumulation of practice hours in these circumstances. If you find yourself with a deficit of practice hours, your programme leader will support you on an individual basis to achieve the requirements.

  • If you have reported that you are sick, this will be recorded as sickness absence 
  • If you are self-isolating but are well, this will be recorded as authorised absence 
  • If you are well but have to stay at home for childcare/caring responsibilities, this will be recorded as authorised absence

All students who may be required to deliver clinical care to affected patients must be provided with training and information on any additional infection prevention and control measures needed to work in such environments by the work placement organisation.

This will include the safe donning and removal of personal protective equipment (PPE). Any special protective equipment personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided by the work placement organisation.

If you are unsure of the local guidance, or have any concerns, please speak with your practice supervisor / clinical educator / practice educator.

As an apprentice you need to meet the requirements of your apprenticeship as well as those set by the University and your employer.

We recognise that during this time of emergency you may need to be redeployed or you may not be able to participate in your apprenticeship in the same was as normal. You can achieve your 20% off the job learning throughout your programme, and government guidance has been that apprenticeships should continue where possible. Therefore, it will be appropriate to take a flexible approach to practice and theory elements of your programme.

If you are not able to continue your apprenticeship at the current time you are able to take a break in learning.

Where these arrangements have been in place, due to current government guidance on non-essential staff entering the workplace, academic staff are unable to visit placement. Personal academic tutors will continue to support you virtually via phone, Skype or email. 

Please contact them with any placement support you may need, except for reporting sickness and absence, which should be reported to the HSC College Student Centre placements team by:

Email: placementabsences@derby.ac.uk for all programmes across HSC
Tel: +44(0)1332 592099

The self-isolation advice from Public Health England must be followed.

Please ensure that you email the HSC College Student Centre placements team to inform them you will be returning to your placement.

Email: placementabsences@derby.ac.uk
Tel: +44(0)1332 592099

You should also contact the placement when you are recovered to advise them of your planned return. You must also ensure that you check this website and your University emails to familiarise yourself on any relevant updates.

We understand that you may have some anxieties if you have a placement in a healthcare setting and you are pregnant. We would recommend that any student who is pregnant and feels vulnerable should remove themselves from placement. Please report this absence using the sickness and absence process:

Email: placementabsences@derby.ac.uk for all programmes across HSC
Tel: +44(0)1332 592099

Current information (30 March) from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists emphasises that pregnant women prior to 28 weeks gestation should be offered the choice of whether to work in direct patient-facing roles during the coronavirus pandemic.

Your choices on whether you continue to work in direct patient-facing roles during the coronavirus pandemic will be respected and supported by us. For pregnant women from 28 weeks gestation, or with underlying health conditions such as heart or lung disease at any gestation, a more precautionary approach is advised. Women in this category should be recommended to stay at home. You should therefore remove yourself from placement and report the absence using the process above.

For more specific information regarding your particular programme and cohort, please check the University emails sent to you and programme announcements on Blackboard.

Last updated: Tuesday 7 April 2020 15:43:17