Coronavrius: University of Northampton gives vacant rooms to NHS

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Spencer Perceval Hall and Bassett Lowke Hall at University of NorthamptonImage source, University of Northampton
Image caption,
Spencer Perceval Hall (left) and Bassett Lowke Hall, usually used by students, are available to patients and healthcare staff.

Hundreds of vacant student rooms at a university are being offered to NHS staff and non-critical patients to free-up hospital space.

The University of Northampton said 300 rooms were open for patients without coronavirus who are in social care or at Northampton General Hospital.

Staff on call at a mental health unit in the town could stay in one of 100 rooms in halls or the university hotel.

Vice-chancellor Nick Petford said: "We gladly open our doors to them."

He added: "We've heard many stories over the past few days showing true humanitarian spirit during the unprecedented challenges Covid-19 is setting us.

"Many of these involve our outstanding healthcare sector staff who show the sort of altruism and dedication most of us can only marvel at."

The university said placing patients in 300 rooms at Spencer Perceval Hall would ease the pressure on Northampton General dealing with those who require oxygen or critical care.

Hospital staff could also park at its Waterside Campus for free, an arrangement which would soon be extended to mental health care staff at St Andrew's Healthcare, it added.

A spokesman from the hospital said it was "extremely grateful" for the support.

Allowing workers to rest in university rooms between shifts was "particularly helpful for staff who may be living with those considered to be in the high-risk category", St Andrew's Healthcare said.

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