International Clinical Trials Day – Research During COVID-19

Posted on Wed, 20/05/2020

COVID-19 is one of the biggest ever public health challenges the world has had to face, and research is playing a vital key role in the fight against it.

The Research Team, alongside many others working within the NHS, has supported clinical services to deliver urgent care within Critical Care, across Mental Health and Maternity Departments, alongside FIT Testing/PPE sessions, Bereavement Services, and Loggist support.

Those few that were left within the R&D Department, oversaw the process for the 200 plus active research studies at Gateshead being put on hold and arrangements put in place for the follow-up and monitoring of patients on CTIMPs (drug trials) so that their treatment and care continued throughout the Pandemic.

In the event of a Pandemic such as COVID-19, relevant research studies are rapidly set up, often in just a few days – these are known as Urgent Public Health Studies. These studies can help us to understand more about Covid-19. They help to generate better diagnoses, develop new tests, treatments, and vaccines or test existing drugs or treatments in new ways, they can also help to prevent and manage the spread of disease.

As a Trust, we have been tasked with setting up and actively recruiting to 12 Urgent Public Health Studies so far. The 3 main or core National Urgent Public Health Studies are:-

ISARIC (UK CCP) – Principal Investigator – Dr Vanessa Linnett

RECOVERY – Principal Investigator – Dr. Rob Allcock

REMAP-CAP – Principal Investigator – Dr. Vanessa Linnett

On a day to day basis, you will see members of the Research Team and their medical colleagues, who are currently supporting them, undertaking consent to take part in the studies, taking bloods and swabs, most of which are processed by our Pathology Service. Clinical Record Forms (CRFs) are being filled in and completed, trial treatments dispensed, administered, and monitored by our Pharmacy Service.

Behind the scenes, data is sourced, processed, and uploaded from the CRFs, results are compiled, and statistical information is sent to the Department of Health on a weekly basis so that the Chief Medical Officer and the Government can make informed decisions during the Pandemic.

In the UK the number of COVID-19 cases are dropping, but the studies will continue as the data is still vital and we do not yet have a vaccine or cure for COVID-19. Recruitment, therefore, remains very important with the aim to include every patient with COVID-19 or suspected of having COVID-19.

If you would like to find out more about the Urgent Public Health Studies that we are currently taking part in or would like to join one of the Study Research Teams, please visit the R&D page on the Trust’s website. Alternatively, you can speak to one of the Principal Investigator’s above or look out for our research posters on the wards and around the hospital.

For everyone currently supporting research, THANK YOU for your help – we cannot do it without you.

Call us on 0191 482 0000

In emergencies dial 999 / Non-emergencies dial 111

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