As part of the GHA’s continuing plans to address the COVID-19 challenges that lie ahead, the Director of Nursing and the Gibraltar Ambulance Service, Ms Sandra Gracia, together with Professor Ian Peate, the Head of the School of Health Studies, have introduced an intensive six-day training course for 35 members of clinical staff within the GHA.

The aim of this training is to upskill nurses, Operating Department Practitioners and members of the Gibraltar Ambulance Service in the fundamentals of mechanical ventilation and respiratory conditions.

Mr Barry Hill of Northumbria University, a Specialist Intensive Care Nurse, provided the group with the necessary skills required to safely care for those patients who may require mechanical ventilation. This included a three-day theoretical course delivered by Dr Kirsten MacDonald, a Consultant in emergency medicine from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and which consisted of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology.

Professor Peate said “I am very impressed by the response from GHA staff who have risen to the challenge. Staff that have come from a variety of departments within the hospital have successfully completed the intensive six-day programme. The GHA is continuing to invest in developing skills, especially at such an important time.

Dr Ron Coram, Principal of the School of Health studies said: “The School of Health Studies exists to respond to the needs of our colleagues who deliver frontline care within the GHA generally and especially so in times of crisis.’’

The Honourable Minister for Health and Care Mr Paul Balban said: “I am extremely pleased and proud to see the commitment shown by our dedicated staff to provide the best possible care to our community, and make all the necessary preparations should the implementation of extreme measures be required. We need to empower our valued staff effectively to be in a position to provide the highest level of care, whilst at the same time, we ensure that their own personal health and wellbeing is protected.