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Supporting National and International Efforts

Campus space for NHS

UCL and Imperial College London

Campus space has been provided to NHS partners for use during the crisis, for example at the Royal Free campus where extensive space was converted for NHS staff use. Imperial College London opened up its halls of residence at Wilson House to NHS volunteers in need of a place to stay during the COVID-19 crisis. Imperial has provided over 300 bed spaces at Wilson House, one of the College’s largest halls of residence, just a few minutes’ walk from St Mary’s Hospital.

UCL Cancer Hub


UCLH managed one of the three cancer hubs across London, so that during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic cancer surgery was available for patients with the most immediate needs. Working in collaboration with cancer consultants from seven hospitals in north central and north east London and the local Cancer Alliances, UCLH established a system of weekly prioritisation meetings to allow those local patients most in need to get the care they require.

COVID-19 Humanitarian Web Platform

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

In collaboration with Johns Hopkins University and the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action, LSHTM’s Health In Humanitarian Crises Centre launched an open access, web-based platform for use by humanitarian actors in preparedness and response to COVID-19 to promote the exchange of field-based COVID-19 programme adaptations and innovations, facilitating learning among organisations in different contexts and sectors.

COVID-19 Hygiene Hub

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

LSHTM has launched the COVID-19 Hygiene Hub for rapid expert advice and information exchange worldwide led by professor Val Curtis and Dr Robert Aunger. This platform is a free service to help actors in LMICs to rapidly share, design and adapt evidence-based hygiene interventions to combat coronavirus. The hub was recently endorsed by the UK Royal Family.


The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

LSHTM is helping to transfer lessons learnt from the Ebola epidemics in West and Central Africa and apply these to the current COVID-19 pandemic, especially to heighten pandemic preparedness in Africa. Professor Melissa Parker is examining local and global concepts and practice in tackling disease threats in Africa. The EBOVAC project, previously focusing on vaccine development for Ebola, is building trust and community ownership of awareness of outbreaks and community engagement in the DRC and Uganda to understand the authority structures during Ebola and the coronavirus epidemic.

Emergency Ventilator

Imperial College London

A low cost, high performance emergency ventilator to help patients with coronavirus has been designed by a team at Imperial College London and medics at Royal Brompton Hospital.

Handwashing study


Moderate frequency handwashing six to ten times a day is linked to a lower risk of seasonal coronavirus infection, according to a UCL study.

Hand Sanitiser Supply

Imperial College London

Safety experts, researchers, and specialist lab technicians from the College are making 4,000 litres of hand sanitiser for use at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and beyond, using alcohol donated by a craft gin pioneers Sipsmith.

Inactivity study

UCL and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

A study co-led led by UCL, LSHTM and University of Bath has found that a disproportionate number of adults with chronic diseases and conditions, such as obesity, hypertension and lung disease, had reduced their physical activity levels during the first weeks of the UK COVID-19 lockdown.

International Hygiene campaign

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Led by Dr Robert Aunger, LSHTM is working with the UK government and Unilever as technical lead to deliver a programme to reach up to a billion people worldwide, raising awareness and changing behaviour to ensure people are washing their hands with soap regularly. This campaign is backed by funding of up to £50 million each from the Department for International Development and Unilever. The programme will also provide more than 20 million hygiene products in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), including in areas where there is little or no sanitation.

Online Ventilation Training

Imperial College London

The AHSC has launched a new programme that can quickly teach nurses and doctors how to operate ventilators under the direction of an intensive care consultant. The new online tool, developed by Imperial College London, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Fundamental VR, allows these redeployed clinicians to gain the key knowledge they need for ventilating patients in just 30 minutes.


Imperial College London

Imperial researchers have launched a collaborative network to help the global surgical community improve frontline care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The platform, called PanSurg, aims to bring together clinicians, surgeons and academics globally to share experiences, policy, data and research for the delivery of safe, effective surgery during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

PCR machine donation


UCL donated 16 PCR machines to the Lighthouse labs, along with manufacturing antimicrobial hand wash for use at UCLH and making PPE face masks and eye protection.

PPE manufacturing

Imperial College London

Imperial volunteers are making more than 50,000 disposable visors for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust hospitals. An entire floor of Imperial’s Translation & Innovation Hub (I-HUB) in White City has been converted to assemble the visors, which will support Trust staff on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis. More than 6,500 visors have already been delivered to Charing Cross Hospital. Tens of thousands more will be distributed across Trust hospitals over the coming weeks.

PPE supply

Queen Mary University London

Projects have been launched to optimise and improve the supply of PPE to frontline health workers including Visors for Frontline Staff and Personalised Mask Fitters.

Support for Royal Marsden Cancer Hub

Imperial College London

Cancer services across London are now being coordinated by a specialist ‘Cancer Hub’ led by The Royal Marsden to ensure NHS hospitals continue to deliver as much cancer treatment as possible across the capital. Researchers at the School of Public Health and ICR are also working with the Marsden to assess the impact of the pandemic on delays in cancer surgery and patient outcomes. This work has been submitted to the London Cancer Alliances and NHS Improvement.


The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and King’s Health Partners

The UK-PHRST deploys specialist experts to outbreaks of infectious diseases overseas, to help increase and improve the response and reduce their risk of becoming global threats. Working alongside colleagues from the WHO, Ministries of Health and other international partners the UK-PHRST delivered expertise in epidemiology, data analysis, infection prevention and control, clinical care, laboratory diagnostics and more. Many UK-PHRST team members are also supporting the domestic response, providing clinical care and epidemiologic support.

Virtual Stroke Rehabilitation


Brain injury and stroke patients being discharged from hospital earlier than normal, due to the coronavirus pandemic, will receive virtual rehabilitation at home, as part of an innovative pilot study led by UCL and supported by the charity SameYou.

A Personal Respirator for Healthcare Professionals Treating COVID-19 (PeRSo)

University of Southampton

The Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) awarded the University of Southampton team behind PeRSo – Personal Respirator Southampton – with a President’s Special Award for Pandemic Service for exceptional engineering achievements in tackling COVID-19 throughout the UK.

Population mapping for COVID-19

University of Southampton

Professor Andy Tatem and his team undertook important work regarding how population mapping is helping us to understand the spread of Coronavirus.

Studying sugars (glycans)

University of Southampton

Research led by the University of Southampton has revealed the fundamental features of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID19. The researchers have produced the first model of a spike of the virus which shows how it disguises itself to enter human cells undetected, and the viral proteins which are the target of antibodies and vaccine research. The findings of this study could provide crucial information to help scientists currently searching for a vaccine.

Rapid research infrastructure deployment at hospitals

Queen Mary University of London

Covid-19 patients across east London are being recruited into clinical trials to understand why some people become severely affected by the disease, and to investigate interventions to see if they can help more patients survive.

The new programme of Covid-19 research was launched by Queen Mary across Barts Health hospitals, including NHS Nightingale London, before the peak of the pandemic in April.

Just 10 days after opening, patients were already enrolled in trials at the Nightingale – a process which would usually take many months.

Queen Mary led the recruitment and training of more than a hundred volunteers being deployed to research teams at Barts Health hospitals, comprising clinical researchers and other scientists.

Coronavirus outbreak simulation tools – COVIDSIM

Imperial College London

Imperial’s COVID-19 Response Team have been working with health services and governments around the world to help plan responses to the pandemic.

To help health services around the world plan their response to the pandemic, the team developed coronavirus outbreak simulation tools for 137 countries. The platform, is a scenario analysis tool which can make projections of the prevalence of infections each day and the expected number of people requiring hospitalisation and critical care facilities.

I-sense COVID Response Evaluation Dashboard (COVID RED)


A team of researchers in the EPSRC funded i-sense project at UCL has produced a living dashboard that is updated regularly using statistics released by the UK government.

Made available to the public at the end of October, i-sense COVID Response Evaluation Dashboard (COVID RED) collates and presents data from the Office of National Statistics, Public Health England, and the NHS under five categories; Find, Test, Track, Isolate and Support for those asked to Isolate (FTTIS). The dashboard presents indicators of England’s performance under each of these headings, and identifies areas where more data are needed. Bringing together COVID-19 data from a wide range of sources into one programme, COVID RED is currently the only dashboard that explores the system as a whole, with the additional function of ‘isolation’ and ‘support’ status. This is in regard to the importance of these steps in ensuring optimal performance of the whole response system. The dashboard can be accessed here:

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