Epsom college have offered up more than 100 rooms for use by NHS workers at the nearby Epsom and St Helier NHS hospitals to help support their efforts against coronavirus.

With frontline staff at the nearby Epsom and St Helier NHS hospitals working flat out in the fight against Covid-19 coronavirus, Epsom College said that they had arranged for 117 rooms at the college to be given over to NHS nurses, doctors and carers who needed them.

The college has also donated supplies of goggles and other protective gear to NHS hospitals who need them.

A statement published by the school on Friday read:

“Epsom College is offering its boarding houses to NHS staff working on the frontline in the battle against coronavirus.

“From today (3 April 2020), we are providing 117 single-bed rooms to critical workers. The accommodation comes with on-site parking and is being offered free of charge.

“Epsom General Hospital – just two miles from the College – has been tasked with managing the most seriously-ill patients locally, and will be ramping up its critical care provision in the coming weeks as the number of infections is expected to rise steeply.”

Responding to a request from the Comet on Tuesday (April 7), a spokesperson for the college said that over 20 NHS workers in the area had already expressed interest in using the accommodation during the crisis and they would begin to arrive this week, with more expected going forward.

Headmaster Jay Piggot said the move came from a straightforward wish to help the community as it battles with coronavirus.

“During this period of uncertainty, we wish to help members of our local community in any way we can. The NHS staff working tirelessly on the front-line are selfless, courageous, professional and vulnerable; we hope that this provision will ease the tremendous pressure they are under at this time,” he said.

The headmaster went onto describe how the college’s origins as a centre for the Royal Medical Foundation seemed to resonate with this new contribution in support of healthcare.

“Epsom College began life as the Royal Medical Foundation of Epsom College, looking after the widows and orphans of medical practitioners.

“It is important that we continue to care for those who care for us during times of hardship,” Piggot added.

Julie Robinson, Chief Executive of the Independent Schools Council, praised the move.

Referencing acts of solidarity undertaken by other schools acorss the UK to support healthcare and other key workers during the crisis, she said:

“This is an impressive example of how independent schools are helping do their bit to combat the problems we are currently facing due to the outbreak of Coronavirus.

“It is heart-warming to see that schools have been taking practical steps to help our NHS up and down the country by offering their equipment, facilities and time to the cause.”