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Innovative training programme allows Brighton students to join COVID-19 testing workforce

A biomedical science training programme developed at the University of Brighton has been praised by a professional body for its ability to withstand coronavirus pressures.

The training programme, designed by Senior Lecturer in Biosciences Simonne Weeks, allows students studying Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) to join a placement Frontier Pathology laboratories, giving them a chance to work towards the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) Certificate of Competence and the Registration Training Portfolio, which means that students can join the essential workforce behind COVID-19 and pathology testing.

In short:

  • With pathology lying at the heart of NHS patient care, the training goes some way to ensuring a first-class service. One portfolio from a student was described as ‘outstanding’ by an IBMS verifier, who commended the university’s placement scheme’s ‘quality and skill’.
  • Mrs Weeks drew on 20 years of pathology expertise as a Senior Biomedical Scientist working in the NHS, the private sector, and within the university’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences.
  • In addition to training future NHS pathology biomedical scientists, Mrs Weeks is also part of a research team which is building on the success of a published work which uses artificial intelligence to help.

She said: “Working with committed students and training officers during these challenging times has been a rewarding experience. I know how important it is to support trainees to learn the knowledge and skills that is required for them to work safely and efficiently in the laboratories.

“The COVID-19 pandemic presented so many challenges for training with increases in workload and resource constraints. I am thrilled that my training programme has supported both the students and their training officers to produce outstanding work in spite of the crisis.”