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Recovery Study

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is part of the new Durham Tees Valley Research Alliance along with South Tees and North Tees NHS Foundation Trusts, and has been recruiting patients for the national COVID-19 research trial which has made a major breakthrough in the fight against the virus.

Almost 100 patients cared for by CDDFT agreed to take part in the RECOVERY study, a national clinical trial aiming to identify treatments that may be beneficial for people hospitalised with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Across the Alliance, nearly 500 patients from the region have entered the study.

Recovery Team

James Limb, Director of Research and Innovation, explains, "Three months ago, there were no known treatments for COVID-19. The RECOVERY Trial, led by Oxford University and set up in record time at the start of the pandemic, is testing seven potential treatments and, thanks to the willingness of patients recruited to the study and the work of our teams, we've been contributing vital data. Nationally, nearly 12000 patients are part of the trial." 

 "Last week, it was announced that the trial has identified a clear survival benefit to giving a daily dose of a drug called dexamethasone to any patient ill enough with COVID-19 to need oxygen or ventilation."

"The significance of this result is enormous - dexamethasone is inexpensive, well-tolerated, easily available, and it is the first drug anywhere to show an improvement in survival for COVID patients. The actual results show a one third reduction in deaths in patients ill enough to be on a ventilator, and a one fifth reduction in those needing oxygen."

"Moving forward dexamethasone should become a standard part of the care given to patients with or suspected of having Covid-19.

"Taking part in clinical research trials takes a great deal of commitment from clinicians, research nurses, patients, their families and those caring for the patient. That said, it's so important for patients to consider taking part in research so we can discover better treatments, and in doing so, they can benefit from treatments before they become more widely available.

 "Whilst all hospitalised COVID-19 patients should be considered for dexamethasone, the RECOVERY trial is continuing to test other potential treatments for COVID including convalescent plasma from survivors, and tocilizumab, a drug which alters the immune response. Another six COVID-19 trials are also underway in our hospitals, as well as a range of trials for other conditions. We encourage all patients to take part in research - their help plays an important part in improving medical care.


Published 24th June 2020



'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough - could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'

Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community Hospital