THE past 18 months have been challenging – but they’ve also shown us the power of collaboration.

Glasgow Clyde College’s strong industry ties to NHS Scotland, and specifically NHS Louisa Jordan, have been a beacon of hope in the midst of worrying times. At the very outset of the pandemic, when it became apparent how serious the situation was, we stripped our campuses of PPE and other equipment in order to donate them to frontline workers.

Resources normally used in the engineering, horticulture, construction, nursing and beauty departments were gathered and donated to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. The QEUH was, at the time, converted from surgical wards into respiratory intensive care units.

Later, at the end of the first wave during summer last year, we started a collaboration with NHS Louisa Jordan, which saw more than 150 students from the college’s Healthcare Practice course begin training at the emergency hospital.

At the time, face-to-face teaching was restricted so this allowed vital classroom time in a real-life clinical setting and the students gained key clinical skills to prepare them for careers in nursing and care.

More recently, NHS Louisa Jordan has redistributed more than £4 million worth of clinical equipment to NHS boards and educational institutions across the country. As a result, Glasgow Clyde College received medical equipment for students to use, including medical beds, drip infusion stands, and blood pressure monitors. The college will use these clinical-grade items to educate more than 500 health care students across Glasgow Clyde College’s three campuses, and it’s a fantastic opportunity for our students to have access to top of the range clinical equipment in their classrooms.

The equipment will enable simulation scenarios to carry out medical role play, which will not only allow us to showcase the key tools that are used in the clinical environment, but also build the confidence of our students.

They will be used in several of our healthcare courses including Nursing, Occupational Therapy and Healthcare Practice, with many of these pathways leading students on to university.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of public health, but also shown the power of collaboration. It has been an honour to do our bit to support NHS Scotland, and the college is so grateful for the generous donation of equipment. We will be putting it to good use with the nurses and carers of tomorrow!