Suspend placement for healthcare students amid Covid-19 pandemic, until safe to resume

This petition made change with 1,003 supporters!

We, healthcare students, believe that attending placement during the Covid-19 pandemic poses more risks than it does benefits, and puts not only ourselves at risk of contracting the coronavirus, but also our older family members and those that we live with. We fear that we may unknowingly spread the virus to those more vulnerable (elderly, immunocompromised or those with underlying health conditions) and our families have increasing concerns as the situation develops, they too support us in launching this petition. A portion of students who fall under the 'high risk' bracket are concerned that they may become infected and, as their symptoms may be more detrimental to their health, they will have to take more time off placement, resulting in more time to make up.

Also, many students rely on a part time job in order to fund their basic living needs, and should one contract the virus on placement, they will be rendered unable to work, resulting in a difficult financial situation; 2 weeks of isolation can easily equate to a great loss in financial stability as a student. We understand that our future is in the NHS, but whilst we arent paid to attend placement, nor are we offered a bursary, we are required to have a job. This job is often 0 hour contract, due to the instability of our university timetable, meaning we arent often offered 'sick pay'.

The university have released a statement that '[the students] health and wellbeing is [their] top priority', if this was the case, they would understand our concerns about attending placement, and would allow us to self isolate, as recommended by the UK Government, with no repercussions with regards to making up hours that we miss. Face-to-face lectures have been cancelled to protect students across the university, including ourselves, we dont understand why this hasn't been reflected with regards to placements.

Other universities across the UK have been suspending placement, backing up our worries that attending placement is an unnecessary risk. Students are already displaying feelings of anxiety surrounding the nature of attending placement, even staying in hospital accommodation, and we feel that our mental health isnt being considered. 

We understand this is a challenging time for everyone as we are in unchartered waters, we would just like to have our voices heard.

Thank you.

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