Leading the COVID Challenge from the front lines
NUTH has been one of the exemplars in tackling COVID-19 through research. A whole systems approach has allowed us to maximise the chances to help improve care through research.
An urgent prioritisation of research studies across the Trust freed up capacity to focus on COVID research and weekly team meetings chaired by Dr Stephen Wright, (via Starleaf of course!) have helped smooth the transition from multiple teams into one larger team – which has the shared goals of offering all our patients the chance to be involved in research.
Dedicated teams have allowed rapid R&D approvals and study set-up has been gratefully received by front line researchers. The rapid redeployment of nurses from diverse backgrounds, ranging from community nursing to hepatology, to help deliver COVID studies has set the bar high; we always knew the nurses were flexible and enthusiastic. A more mobile workforce that can flex for demand may be a lasting positive legacy of the difficult COVID 19 days.
Special mention should be made for Dr Ashley Price who has tirelessly worked to link the research nurses with the viral results meaning we can direct teams of both nurses and doctors to recruit patients.
There are trials forward-based patients (RECOVERY and ACTT) and patients requiring ITU level support (REMAP-CAP). Multiple doctors from diverse backgrounds have shared the same work ethic as research nurses and have been trained in the RECOVERY trial. This study has now recruited several thousand patients nationally with an important contribution from @NewcastleHospitals. RECOVERY is also open to women under Obstetric care and is opening a paediatric arm in NUTH shortly (www.recoverytrial.net). It’s been a great study to be local PI and I’m very grateful for everyone’s support and enthusiasm.