2 December 2021
Over the course of the pandemic, LocatED has worked with the NHS to support the delivery of essential training to NHS workers.
In December 2020, LocatED reviewed the DfE asset portfolio of vacant sites that have been acquired for new schools and are typically awaiting planning permission, for any that could offer meanwhile uses to support cross-government Covid-19 relief efforts. The team quickly identified Vortex House in the Wavertree area of Liverpool as a potentially suitable site for a clinical education training centre for healthcare workers.
As the NHS worked to respond to unprecedented demands on the country’s healthcare system amid the unforeseen circumstances wrought by a global pandemic, it was of crucial importance that the NHS prepare not just for service pressures, but also for new services, such as those for treating patients with long COVID, administering the COVID vaccination and, eventually, booster jabs. LocatED quickly established a dialogue that would help to bring together all parties to work collaboratively to deliver this crucial project.
The St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust engaged the NHS, along with a number of public sector bodies at the national level to hep support in the response to the pandemic in Cheshire and Merseyside, including establishing mass vaccination sites. Vortex House was successfully mobilised for operations over the Christmas period of 2020.
Today, Vortex House has proved a major success, with its spaces reconfigured to support the unique needs of healthcare workers through a variety of training methods and programmes. The site currently hosts large cohorts of international nurses over a 10 week course, before they are integrated in to the NHS; this programme will continue for the foreseeable future. In addition to this over 250 vaccination volunteers have also been trained on site in dedicated rooms.
The success of the site represents a trailblazing achievement for how key public bodies within the healthcare and education sectors can work together and deliver outstanding results.
Photos kindly provided by The St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.