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Assistant Director of Nursing for the Nightingale Hospital Exeter

Chantal Baker, Assistant Director of Nursing for the Nightingale Hospital Exeter

Ventilators and PPE donated to Devon NHS by University of Exeter partner at Tsinghua University

In the strongest signal of partnership and friendship, Tsinghua University, one of the world’s most prestigious universities has donated through its links with the University of Exeter a remarkably generous gift of 5 ventilators, 5,250 face masks and 500 isolation gowns for the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E) to help with the continuing fight against the coronavirus (Covid-19).

The University of Exeter has strong links with universities in China – and indeed around the world – and has been working around the clock to ensure Devon and Cornwall have access to the best research, knowledge and resources. We welcome students and academics from China and around the globe who choose to study and work with us.

The latest donation of high-tech equipment, protective kit and also items such as hand sanitiser and disinfectant liquid is from the Institute for International and Areas Studies at Tsinghua University and Beijing Chenxing Education Foundation. Tsinghua University has been a close institutional partner of the University of Exeter for a decade and made the gift to the University who then donated to the RD&E. University of Exeter and RD&E staff have been working together with Madam Zhang Jing, Associate Director of the Institute for International and Area Studies at Tsinghua University, on the logistics to secure the delivery from Beijing.  

Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Exeter, said: “We are so grateful for this donation by Madam Zhang Jing at Tsinghua University to support our NHS here in Devon. Coronavirus can start anywhere in the world and it is vital that we work together as nations and peoples to respond and protect citizens across the world. Universities are helping to tackle Coronavirus through research into treatments and vaccines, assisting our NHS with testing and modelling the course of the virus, training our clinicians and social care workers and supporting our communities.”

Professor Adrian Harris, Medical Director at the RD&E, explains: “Face masks, gowns and sanitisers are essential items that help our staff to safely treat COVID-19 patients, while the ventilators will be used to help those who experience severe symptoms of the virus. The RD&E thanks the University of Exeter and Tsinghua University for their kind donation and for supporting the NHS to save lives.”

Madam Zhang Jing, Associate Director of the Institute for International and Area Studies at Tsinghua University, said: “I am delighted to be able to support the fight against the coronavirus in the UK. We should work together and support each other and I am proud that through connections at the University of Exeter we have been able to provide vital equipment to your local health services.”   

In November 2019, the Tsinghua University’s Institute for International and Area Studies signed a new agreement with the University of Exeter, which will see the two universities appoint a joint chair in Area Studies. Based at Exeter’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, the Exeter and Tsinghua Professor of Area Studies will be an expert in the anthropology, history, social sciences and cultures of the Middle East. The University of Exeter and Tsinghua University have also established a jointly-awarded PhD degree programme in climate and environmental sciences.

The University of Exeter has been supporting the NHS during the Covid-19 crisis in a number of different ways through research, testing, expertise, equipment and resources. You can find out more about the University of Exeter’s work with the NHS and in the local community on the website at: http://www.dwjlfk.icu/about/covid-19/

Date: 28 August 2020

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