Our Research Team has attracted more accolades, even being featured on BBC’s national news for their involvement in clinical trials involving the Oxford University team.
When COVID-19 became a fact of life we knew research was going to be important in finding a treatment – and needed to be functional very quickly. This is an unknown virus and the situation was fast moving. Our 15 strong research team came into their own and have worked tirelessly with clinicians and The University of Oxford team who were leading on this, to recruit patients and study various treatments to see which proved effective.
You will have seen on the news in late May that there was a breakthrough – and dexamethasone , a steroid given at a low dose, has shown itself to be effective in helping to save the lives of seriously ill COVID -19 patients. It significantly increases the chances of survival in patients on ventilators by 35%. It works by dampening down the body’s response to the virus and calms down the immune system to enable it to fight the Coronavirus.
We can proudly say that 29 of our patients received this steroid treatment.
Tom Spencer, Research & Development Lead said, ”These findings and the global impact they will have are a great step forward in the fight against COVID-19. This really is a great example of the importance of research and how vital this is to improve patient care. The team are all so proud to have been a part of this trial and help find treatment options rapidly during the pandemic”
Amanda Whileman, Matron for Clinical research said ‘We are both proud and excited about these findings. For our local population to have contributed to such ground-breaking research really is incredible. I am immensely proud of what our small research team have achieved their dedication along with the support of staff and the participation of patients has well and truly made a difference’.
“We would also like to thank the patients who took part in this trial – and their families. They have contributed to a breakthrough which will go on to save lives and keep the UK at the forefront of medical research.”
Our Research team received national recognition right from the start and were very recently featured on BBC News where they focused on a patient who was part of the convalescent plasma trial. As soon as the call to arms was made, out team was able to act very quickly in asking patients to become involved in the early trials. Their approach has been particularly impressive given that some of the team are themselves in the ‘at risk’ category.
An early start…
Amanda added, “It is quite remarkable that we only started on our journey of recruitment to COVID-19 studies on 19th March, yet have managed to collect a significant amount of data. We commenced recruitment to the RECOVERY trial on 26th March and the genetics study on 21st April.
“We’ve had to split ourselves into two teams; those that are able to be patient facing and those who are in the ‘at risk’ category themselves. Both teams have been working on a rota, seven days a week to ensure we are able to offer the research studies to all eligible patients. The research nurses going onto the wards have been educating the staff within that clinical area about the studies as well as approaching, consenting and randomising patients into the trials.
“The team that is unable to attend the wards has been working closely with critical care in order to enroll patients remotely into studies. They have been liaising with patients’ families to explain the nature of the studies to keep them informed, working tirelessly to input the much needed data onto the databases. We’ve worked around the clock to ensure that the answers we are looking for in relation to COVID-19 and its treatment are found as soon as possible.
“We have been overwhelmed with the support from all of our colleagues. Nurses have offered support and worked additional hours to help input data and with recruitment where appropriate alongside incredible support from our pharmacists and clinicians. We are extremely proud that we are one of the highest recruiting sites in the UK for the RECOVERY trial. This, without a doubt, is down to the passion and commitment the research team and our colleagues have shown to deliver a gold standard service to the patients in our community. We also cannot forget that without patients volunteering to take part, none of this research could take place. We are incredibly grateful for their participation and support.”