Stockport NHS Foundation Trust’s research and innovation team at Stepping Hill Hospital are continuing to lead the way in a number of national clinical studies aimed at combatting Covid-19.
The research team is working with frontline ward and ICU staff at Stepping Hill to recruit patients for studies involving the effective use of drugs, convalescent plasma and other treatments for the coronavirus. The RECOVERY trial is focused on evaluating drugs which have a positive impact on the chance of reducing mortality rates, and the REMAP CAP trial is testing for effective treatment of patients critically ill with the virus. Both trials require the donation of blood plasma (through NHS Blood and Transplant Services) from people who have previously tested positive for the Covid-19 infection, and donors have included members of the trust’s own staff.
The trust has also been recruiting well for the Genomics study, a nationwide study led by the University of Edinburgh in partnership with Genomics England. This research is testing how patients’ genetic makeup could influence how they react to the virus, which will help support the vital search for new treatments. It aims to identify those most at risk and help to fast-track new therapies into clinical trials.
The RECOVERY trial is testing the effectiveness of different treatments on patients with Covid-19, which currently include convalescent plasma collected from donors who have recovered from the infection, Azithromycin (a commonly used antibiotic) and Tocilizumab (an anti-inflammatory treatment given by injection). There are now 45 patients who have taken part in this study at Stepping Hill Hospital, and five patients have also successfully received the convalescent plasma.
The REMAP CAP trial is for patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) most seriously affected by the illness, and there are currently two such patients taking part in the trial at the hospital. This trial is currently testing the effectiveness of treatments such as types of immunomodulation, immunoglobulin therapy and therapeutic anticoagulation.
In all there are currently 13 separate Covid-19 related studies open to recruitment in Stepping Hill Hospital in total, in research areas ranging from the virus in pregnancy, ICU and ward settings, to staff resilience during the pandemic.
To date, a total of 861 patients have taken part in Covid-19 studies at the hospital linked to the National Institute of Health Research. The Stepping Hill team are also now encouraging members of the public to take part in the National Institute for Health Research’s new national database of volunteers for studies into a vaccine against the virus.
Wiesia Woodyatt, Research and Innovation Manager for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust said:
Studies on the spread and treatment of Covid-19 are probably the most urgent medical research issue in the world right now, and both our team and the frontline staff supporting us are proud to be playing our part in the fight against the virus. We’d like to thank the hundreds of patients who have kindly supported us with this vital research too.”
Image: Nimra Khurshid, Biomedical Scientist (L) and Hannah Brophy, Specialist Biomedical Scientist (R) with the new convalescent blood plasma taken from people who have tested positive for Covid-19.