‘We have capacity for more’ - University offering free rooms to NHS staff

PUBLISHED: 11:02 07 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:02 07 May 2020

An aerial view of the UEA campus which is currently housing 68 NHS staff so they can continue to work during the pandemic. Picture: UEA

An aerial view of the UEA campus which is currently housing 68 NHS staff so they can continue to work during the pandemic. Picture: UEA


University accommodation has been made available for NHS staff to allow them to continue working during the coronavirus crisis.

The University of East Anglia (UEA) says it has capacity to provide further student and guest rooms for frontline staff needing to be away from home.

The reasons staff may need to stay elsewhere include isolating away from at-risk family members or to be closer to work to avoid using public transport.

So far, 68 members of staff from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCHC) are living on the site.

The UEA site is within walking distance of the NNUH and NCHC Colman hospital in Norwich.

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In March, UEA contacted students in 4,300 campus rooms to offer them the chance to be released from their accommodation agreement if they were no longer living there, so they would not have to pay for the third term

Students have also been given the opportunity to leave but store their belongings while away from the site.

Sophie Atherton, the UEA’s Student Union campaigns and democracy officer, said: “I think students will be really pleased to see empty rooms being occupied by NHS staff who need extra support in order to carry on with their roles during these difficult times.

“The majority of students are living all over the country right now, but knowing that they have indirectly helped the NHS in Norwich right now will no doubt be something nice for them to hear.”

Paul Bailey, UEA’s head of accommodation services, added: “I’d like to add that we do have capacity for more NHS staff to stay with us, so we’d encourage anyone who thinks they would benefit, to contact their trust to find out more.”

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NNUH and NCHC staff who would like to find out more about the scheme should email if they work at NNUH, or if they work at NCHC.

-Are you a frontline worker living away from your family during coronavirus and happy to share your experiences? Please email

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