Four undergraduate nursing students have stepped forward to join the frontline at Oswestry’s specialist orthopaedic hospital in a bid to support the covid-19 pandemic.

The third year students at Staffordshire University are studying towards their Adult Nursing degrees and will be working at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital on an extended six-month placement.

Jo Davies, Steph Doleman, Kathryn Dytor and Amy Gwilliam all volunteered to join the workforce at the Oswestry-based hospital and complete their studies at the same time.

Jayne Johnson, Clinical Placement Facilitator at RJAH, said: “It’s fantastic that we had four nursing students volunteer to come to RJAH to support our staff during the covid-19 crisis.

“To support our students in practice, we have seen new standards brought in by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and I have also been working with guidance from both the NMC and Health Education England to ensure the quality of their placements at RJAH is a positive one for all.

“I also have my clinical placement colleague Ruth Carle and Practice Development Sister Karin Evans to thank as they will also be supporting the students whilst in practice.”

Regular orthopaedic surgery has been halted at RJAH, and instead has taken on orthopaedic trauma work – offering a service for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, as well as those from North Wales. That has helped to free up capacity in the acute hospitals to manage an influx of covid-19 patients.

Stacey Keegan, Acting Chief Executive, said: “I’d like to personally thank all our students that have joined RJAH to help us with our efforts to fight coronavirus.

“I know I speak on behalf of the whole hospital when I say we will go above and beyond to ensure their experience at RJAH is as positive as it could possibly be.”

Across the country, up to 18,000 nursing students have been asked to assist the NHS workforce with the outbreak.

Dr Ann Ewens, Dean of the School of Health and Social Care, said: “We are incredibly proud of the dedication of students like Jo, Steph, Kathryn and Amy who have volunteered to support the NHS through the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many students across our health and social care courses, they are playing a vital role by helping on the frontline.

“Patient care and safety is at the core of their learning and they are putting everything they’ve learnt into practice during this critical period.”

Pictured: Student nurses Jo Davies, Steph Doleman, Kathryn Dytor and Amy Gwilliam with Jayne Johnson and Ruth Carle, Clinical Placement Facilitators at RJAH.