COVIDAssist: Exploring the perspectives of doctors & nurses of student assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic

The MedEd collaborative is working with IncisionUK on their COVIDAssist study. The study is exploring the perspectives of doctors & nurses on student assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The training medical students receive means they could be used as auxiliary healthcare staff during pandemics and disasters. During COVID-19, many medical students volunteered in healthcare settings in clinical and non-clinical capacities. While there has been research into students’ perceptions of the pandemic and their role within the NHS, the way healthcare staff perceive this student response has not been explored.


The COVIDAssist study is a cross-sectional survey of doctors & nurses who worked alongside medical students in the NHS during the pandemic. We will use qualitative and quantitative methods to analyse responses.

Aims and objectives

Primary outcome

The primary objective of the study is to assess how effective student response was in reducing the burden on healthcare teams during the pandemic.

Secondary outcomes

To identify:

  • The broad specialty (e.g. medicine, surgery, primary care) and healthcare roles in which medical students had the biggest impact

  • The GMC outcome-based skills students exhibited

  • The training provided to students before volunteering and what additional training could have been provided to students.


The outcomes of this study will help inform current and future guidance on effective student deployment during pandemics and disasters. The results are also expected to provide insight into necessary training adaptations.


Download protocol

Project Status

Protocol Development

Collaborator Registration

Ethical Approval

Data Collection

Data Analysis

Manuscript Preparation

Submission to Journal




Primary Investigator: Soham Bandyopadhyay

Steering committee: Vigneshwar Raj Veerappan, Michael Kawka, Aleksander Dawidziuk, Sanskrithi Sravanam, James Ashcroft, Matthew Byrne, Soham Bandyopadhyay


The study is conducted by the University of Oxford and supported by:

  • IncisionUK

  • Royal Society of Medicine Student Members Group

  • MedEd Collaborative