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The Experience Sharing and Exchange between Chinese and British Doctors During the Fight Against Covid-19 Pandemic


On March 23 2020, the UK government announced the first lockdown nationwide. At that time, people in the UK have experienced fear and a very challenging time.

On April 8, 2020, Wuhan Central Hospital (WCH), China held an online conference with approximately 60 medical staff from the Departments of Respiratory, Emergency, Cardiology, Gastrointestinal Surgery and Critical Care of the Salford Royal NHS (National Health Services) Foundation Trust.

Experts from Wuhan Central Hospital present their experience 

At the time the situation of pandemic in Wuhan was under control. Doctors in Wuhan who had been fully engaged in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic just evacuated from the front line, and shared their experiences in fighting the pandemic with the British counterparts. Doctors in Wuhan especially emphasized that protecting medical staff from infection was the key factor to win the victory. Strict testing and quarantine were essential ways to block the path of infection.

WCH introduced the use of two buffer zones when quarantine was implemented which strictly separates the contaminated zone from the semi-contaminated zone and the clean zone. The doctors from the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust appreciated that the experiences from the WCH are very useful for them to organize the importance in the early stage to fight against the pandemic, and felt the webinar was very helpful.

Presentations were well received and the British experts discussed enthusiastically with the Chinese Experts  

On April 16, 2020, Xianning Central Hospital in Hubei Province, China, and York Teaching hospital (Friendship Hospital) in the UK held a fighting pandemic experience sharing conference online among 11 doctors from both China and the UK from Departments of Infectious Diseases, Anesthesiology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Imaging and Pharmacy, with doctors from other hospitals in the UK also joined the webinar. Chinese doctors shared their experience in diagnosing and treating the critically ill patients, in using oxygen therapy, nutritional therapy, airway management, continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation therapy (ECMO) for treatment, and introducing the key role of medical imaging in reducing the incidence and mortality of coronavirus pneumonia. Chinese doctors particularly emphasized the importance of protection of medical staff themselves. Doctors from the department of medical imaging introduced their experience in monitoring body temperature for medical staff, dividing medical imaging departments strictly into contaminated areas, semi-contaminated areas, buffer zones, and clean areas. They emphasized that this was an crucial measure to avoid cross-infection among the medical staff. The doctors from York Hospital expressed their deep inspiration and thanks to the Chinese doctors for sharing such very much needed information.


Xianning Central Hospital's doctors in the webinar 
On May 12, 2020, to commemorate the International Nurses Day, Hubei Cancer Hospital and the Christie Hospital in Manchester jointly organized an online seminar, with 68 medical experts from different hospitals and universities both in China and the UK shared and discussed how to arrange and treat tumor patients during the coronavirus pandemic. Doctors from China introduced 4 key steps they took to avoid cross-infection in the hospital in actual combat. Wendy Makin, the Medical Director (Governance and Professional Development) from the Christie, spoke highly of this seminar, saying that this kind of exchange activities was of great help to doctors in the UK.


Hubei Cancer Hospital - Christie Hospital Joint Webinar 

On May 19, 2020, to commemorate the 10th Family Doctor Day worldwide, family doctors from the UK, Shenzhen, Beijing, and Shanghai, conducted friendly exchanges at the Sino-British Family Doctor Online Forum held by the "Chinese Community Doctors" magazine. The conference was broadcasted live on the online platform of China's "Medical Club", attracting about 3,000 netizens to watch online, and was well received by audiences both in China and the UK.

The audience was interacting with the experts 

On July 3, 2020, in response to the enthusiastic request of the audience from the two countries, the "Chinese Community Doctors" magazine and its British partner held another online seminar with the theme of "Home Management of Diabetes Patients" for the medical care during the Covid-19 pandemic. Professor Mark Slevin, Academician of the Royal Society of Medicine, Dr. Zahid Chauhan, OBE, Dr. Shen Jie, the Dean of Shunde Hospital, Southern Medical University of China, and Dr. Ge Caiying from Fangzhuang Community Health Service Center, Fengtai District, Beijing shared their experience through the live broadcast of the online platform of "Medical Club", attracting more than 20,000 Chinese community doctors to watch. This online conference was highly praised.

The audience was interacting actively with experts 

The above-mentioned experience sharing and exchanging activities were planned and organized by the UK-Medu (UK Medical Education Centre) and received strong support from the Consulate-General of The People’s Republic of China in Manchester and the Manchester China Forum. These exchanges of experience between British and Chinese doctors during the epidemic fully demonstrated the great internationalist spirit of community of common destiny for all mankind, and they were also a true manifestation of the friendship between the British and Chinese people.

Manchester and Wuhan formally established a sister city relationship in 1986. The two cities had frequent and close exchanges and cooperation in various fields which were very fruitful. During the critical period of China when fight against the epidemic, Greater Manchester urgently formulated support measures for its Sister City of Wuhan and the surrounding areas. Friendly people from all sectors in Greater Manchester offered a helping hand and sent sincere blessings and PPEs. Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, wrote in a letter of condolences to Mr Wang Xiaodong, the Governor of Hubei Province, “I have been closely following the developments in Wuhan and Hubei Province. I would like to express the strong support to Hubei and Manchester’s Sister City of Wuhan at this very difficult time.” Sir Richard, the Leader of the Manchester City Council, said in his letter of condolences that he “pays special attention to the long-standing Sister City relationship with Wuhan” and hoped that “through united efforts, we will do our best to relieve the pressure of the epidemic and to provide practical help". Zhou Xianwang, the Mayor of Wuhan, wrote in his response that he thanked to all sectors of Manchester for their active assistance and said that the people of Wuhan would always remember the love and kindness they had received and he also looked forward to the continuous strengthening of the friendly relations between the two cities. When the UK entered a critical period of epidemic prevention and control, the Sister City of Greater Manchester in China, Chinese enterprises and Chinese associations in Greater Manchester sent condolences at the first time and donated a large amount of medical protection materials to Greater Manchester hospitals, nursing homes and charitable organizations.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester Burnham held a thank-you tea party, in Manchester Chinatown, for the Wuhan’s supports  

The UK-Medu (British Medical Education Centre) was established in the UK in early 2015. It is committed to assisting in technical exchanges, staff training and high-level visits between China and the UK in the field of medicine, and to building up a platform for cooperation and providing support and services for Chinese and British medical institutions.

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