UCL to host COVID-19 testing centre 

UCL’s Ramsay Hall will become a COVID-19 testing centre from today, as part of a partnership between the London Borough of Camden and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Anyone requiring COVID-19 screening will be able to book a test at UCL’s Ramsay Hall on Maple Street. The centre will be open seven days a week.

UCL’s Ramsay Hall is allocating an isolated section of the building to be available to the council for use as a testing centre - as part of the university’s commitment to supporting the local and national response to the pandemic.  

Testing is only available for those with coronavirus symptoms - a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. 

People who test positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission. 

This new testing centre follows UCL’s introduction of onsite testing in September for symptomatic students in university accommodation. UCL has also launched ’Connect to Protect’, an online tool for staff and students to notify the university if they think they may have coronavirus. The tool is designed to help UCL monitor and respond to any cases at the university and works alongside the national Test and Trace system.

Professor Alan Thompson, Dean of Brain Sciences and Pro-Vice-Provost (London), said: "Working with our local partners is key to UCL’s relationship with London. From the outset we were eager to look at ways that the university could support our local community during the pandemic. It is an important collaboration for UCL to be able to deliver this testing centre with the London Borough of Camden for the benefit of residents. Camden continues to be a key partner for UCL, and this is just one of many examples of how we are working together throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond." 

UCL is committed to playing an active role in its local community and supporting residents. For some time, this has involved working closely with the London Borough of Camden and soon the university will seek to formalise its relationship in a joint UCL-Camden Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Not only will the MoU aim to accelerate joint-working and increase the potential for new collaborations to emerge, but the partnership demonstrates the importance of local authority and university joint-working with local residents and communities. The role of the partnership has been strengthened due to the pandemic, with both organisations working even closer to benefit their place in London, and their local people, at this challenging time.

Other UCL partnerships with the London Borough of Camden include:

Rapid Evaluation Advice and Learning Service (REAL): The REAL Service was set up in response to a request from Camden to assist in evaluating resident-facing services that needed to be re-engineered during the height of the COVID-19 lockdown. The service pairs Camden officers who have evaluation needs with experienced UCL staff who provide pro-bono evaluation advice and guidance. REAL is an excellent example of how UCL can mobilise across faculties and professional services to make a positive and much needed contribution to its local community.

UCL Institute for Global Prosperity: The London Prosperity Index is the UK’s first set of citizen-led prosperity metrics. It reports on factors that local people say support prosperity and quality of life and has been developed to give citizens a voice and change the way decision makers think and act for shared prosperity. The Prosperity Index methodology was developed in East London and is being adopted in other areas of London, around the UK and internationally. Good Life Euston sees the work adopted by Camden Council and Lendlease in order to develop a new prosperity and wellbeing index for Euston and across the Borough.

UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose: Camden Council and the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) recently launched the Camden Renewal Commission, which will take a mission-oriented innovation approach to  develop ambitious policy and practical solutions to level-up long-standing inequalities in Camden that were thrown into sharp relief by the COVID-19 crisis. The Renewal Commission, co-chaired by Council Leader Councillor Georgia Gould and IIPP Director Professor Mariana Mazzucato, will develop and test policy for Camden Council, its partners and the community to address the borough’s grand challenges of reducing inequality, and of supporting a just transition to a low carbon economy.


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