Leeds Beckett University (LBU) has joined forces with the NHS to train new staff being recruited amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The university is making available its city centre facilities including the Rose Bowl and Portland buildings to offer teaching spaces, catering facilities and meeting rooms. Event support is being provided by the university’s conferencing department, Well Met Conferencing.

The move is part of a bid by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to recruit 1,000 non-clinical staff in areas such as cleaning, catering, security, driving, childcare and maintenance over the next month.

Both the LBU buildings, which were closed recently following Government guidelines about restricting the spread of coronavirus, will be re-opened from 1 April. Once re-opened, the facilities will ensure that social distancing measures are in place to protect LBU staff, the new NHS recruits, and the wider public from the spread of COVID-19.

Talks are also on-going with the NHS to provide online medical training, loan medical equipment and offer staff expertise in areas including nursing, diagnostics and physiotherapy.

Professor Peter Slee, Leeds Beckett University Vice Chancellor, said:

“As national efforts to tackle the devastating effects of Covid-19 are escalated, it’s vital that everyone plays their part.

“Our Leeds city centre campus neighbours Leeds General Infirmary and lending our facilities to the NHS for this purpose is one small way we can support the outstanding NHS efforts.

“In these exceptionally difficult times for everyone, these NHS workers are going above and beyond to help others and we’ll be doing our best to look after them.”

Julian Hartley, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Chief Executive, said:

“We are very fortunate to have a strong relationship with Leeds Beckett University and are grateful to them for working with us to provide this excellent solution.

“The support of Leeds Beckett and other local organisations and businesses has been invaluable in helping us to prepare so that we are ready to provide the best possible care to our patients, including those diagnosed with COVID-19.”