An NHS research team in Teesside has been at the forefront of a national trial into coronavirus treatment – helping lead to a major breakthrough.
The team at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has been taking part in a national clinical trial to identify treatments beneficial for people hospitalised with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
The Trust has been a leading performer in the Recovery trial – consistently being placed in the top five recruiting hospital sites across the country by percentage of available patients who have taken part.
The study has also recently had significant news with the finding that the steroid treatment, dexamethasone, has helped reduced the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators.
Ben Prudon, respiratory consultant and the trust’s study lead, said: “The team have carried out some truly outstanding work over the last few months.
“We have consistently been the highest recruiting organisation in the region and among the best proportionally across the country.
“Not for the first time and certainly not for the last, we have performed above and beyond what a Trust our size is expected to when it comes to research.
“This study has shown very positive outcomes and has already led to a significant breakthrough with the finding that this particular medication is having a real positive impact on a large amount of COVID-19 patients on ventilation.”
The team are also working with the NHS Blood and Transplant service who are making appointments for people to donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma, including for NHS staff affected.
Jill Deane, clinical research project manager and research nurse, said: “At such a critical time, the team has come together to help be a part of one of the important pieces of research they will ever be a part of.
“The team have worked with patients to enable them to be a part of this study. They have explained the benefits and the part they can play.
“I’d like to thank and congratulate them and ward clinical teams for all they have done, as well as to our patients who have been fantastic in coming forward so willingly to be involved.
“This study shows how research can and does make such a difference. It changes lives for the better.”
Anyone who works for the NHS and has recovered from COVID-19 who wishes to donate convalescent plasma can call 0300 123 23 23 and they will be prioritised for donation.
People can also offer to donate by supplying their details via the NHS Blood and Transplant website: www.nhsbt.nhs.uk