The importance the research and development team‘s Covid-19 work has never been more evident than now.
The department has been at the centre of some key national trials for treatments and vaccine studies over the last few months.
They have recently become the first to use REGN-COV2 in the UK – a new treatment made from a combination of monoclonal antibodies specially targeting coronavirus.
- This is through the service’s involvement in the national RECOVERY trial which has been underway for several months and has already involved a range of tests into existing treatments used successfully for other conditions.
- These include the use of a low dose of Dexamethasone, a commonly used antibiotic called Azithromycin, an anti-inflammatory known as Tocilizumab and convalescent plasma collected from donors who have recovered from the virus.
- The team have also become the focal point of the new Novavax national vaccine trial – being hosted at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
Deputy clinical effectiveness manager, John Blenkinsopp, asked service members to record their experiences.
The days of hearing about potential research studies, watching the slow and steady progress of expressions of interest and waiting expectantly for studies to start were gone.
We had started putting things in place to ensure that the NHS didn’t miss the opportunity to ensure that, as well as dealing with this health pandemic, we started research studies that could lead to identifying improved treatments for patients and ways of dealing with this potentially deadly virus.
It has been difficult to see patients and staff suffer during the last few months but is has been a privilege to be alongside them for this journey.Clinical research nurses, Barbara Campbell and Jill Deane
The nurses go on to describe how the team and staff across the organisation worked tirelessly to recruit patients into studies – in the most challenging of circumstances.
Read more about Jane’s COVID-19 experience
Nobody knew how to treat this so the only solution to this was a wholehearted commitment to supporting the research studies and treatment trials.
COVID -19 did more to advance knowledge and awareness of the benefits of research in a few weeks than we’d managed to do in more than 10 years of sustained internal promotion!Jane Greenaway (associate director of the Durham Tees Valley Research Alliance