We are in an unprecedented situation and mindful of both student welfare and their aspirations to become health and care professionals. In order to support this we have already identified that students who are vulnerable should not be attending placement.  

Following on from the VCs message to students on the 18 March 2020 we need to highlight that the delivery of health and care programmes needs to flex. This includes but is not limited to placement experiences. As a result we are taking the following actions with effect from 1700 hours on 19 March 2020, and will be informing placement providers of this decision.

The university is 

1. Withdrawing all 1st and 2nd year students, if not in final year, from placements and encouraging them to return to homes and engage with online study.   More information will follow about how your programme and placement will be organised.

2. Final year students will be prioritised for placement and will be offered the opportunity to continue in placement in preparation for the government’s announcement later this week, providing they  meet all the conditions and remain located in Kent. We hope that you will feel able to continue in placement as part of an emergency response to the national crisis we are all facing. We will be working closely with NHS and other organisations to ensure you are provided with every support to ensure your safety on placement.

3. If a final year student chooses to return home where home is located outside of Kent and the student is unable to travel to placement in Kent the student may choose to engage with a locally based government initiative.  The university will support their engagement with this providing all appropriate conditions are met.

4. Final year students who chose not to continue in placement or do not wish to engage with the government’s initiative, or who are unable to meet the conditions for such engagement, must either advise the university or be advised by the university to  interrupt their studies.  These students will be expected to re- engage with the university in the next academic year.

Historically, the work of our health and care professions has been vital in maintaining health and wellbeing in times of national emergency. The university is both proud and confident of the important contribution that our third year students will be able to make at this time, and we know that our service partners, patients and the public will appreciate this.

Please contact your Programme Team if you need any further guidance.