University of Chichester offers assurances over how students in isolation are treated

The University of Chichester has spoken about the support available for students during the coronavirus pandemic, after it was revealed that there were dozens of active cases.

Wednesday, 18th November 2020, 6:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th November 2020, 6:23 pm

The university revealed on Friday that there were 27 active student and staff cases ‘within our community of around 6,000’.

A spokesperson said: “They are all now in isolation, alongside those they have recently been in contact with.”

The university said it ‘remains a safe place to learn’ and thanked its community for ‘remaining vigilant and following safety guidelines’.

The University of Chichester said it ‘remains a safe place to learn’ and thanked its community for ‘remaining vigilant and following safety guidelines’. Photo: Kate Shemilt ks20204-2 SUS-200317-214410008

It also ‘strongly refuted’ a suggestion that staff were being ‘unresponsive’ to isolating students.

A University of Chichester spokesman said: “As a university renowned for its student experience, we pride ourselves on offering personalised support to all students and have delivered this throughout the pandemic.

“This support for isolating students has taken many forms including daily telephone calls and delivering a range of nutritious food tailored to dietary requirements, where these are made known to us. All these services are being delivered seven-days-a-week.

“We are aware of a singular student flat who only recently expressed their dietary preferences and we are working closely with them to personalise their meals.”

The reassurances came after a student, who was in self-isolation, contacted the Observer to complain about their experience.

The student, who asked to remain anonymous, wasn’t satisfied with the quality of food on offer and felt that there could be better mental health provision, with regular phone calls to self-isolating students.

However, other students praised the university.

First-year psychology student, Rebecca Deebank, said she ‘could not have wished for more’ from staff.

She added: “I received phone calls every day, including the nurse and the accommodation manager. They checked how I was feeling and made sure I was able to virtually talk to family and friends to protect my mental health.”

Katie Penn, a second-year screen acting student, said the university puts students’ well-being as the ‘first priority’, adding: “Every week we are kept updated with what’s happening within the university when restrictions are changed and how you can contact student support and well-being.

“The community support is so comforting and I’m glad I’m here.”

The university said the ‘small number’ of active cases means the on-site healthcare teams, which includes trained nurses, ‘are able to provide around-the-clock support’.
The spokesperson said: “We have put into practice a range of comprehensive measures to keep students, staff, and our nearby residents safe, working with Public Health England to open Covid-19 testing sites on our Bognor Regis campus and near our Chichester campus.”

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