The work undertaken by the research team at County Durham &
Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, in response to the Covid-19
pandemic, has been recognised with an award by the regional
Around 1,000 patients admitted to Darlington Memorial Hospital
and University Hospital of North Durham with suspected or confirmed
COVID-19 have been recruited onto COVID-19 trials, contributing to
the national and international search for treatments.
James Limb, Director of Research and Innovation, said, "Our
research nurses and other members of our teams worked with those
caring for patients with COVID-19 across our sites, ensuring
patients were asked to participate when it was appropriate,
ensuring they had all the information they needed and making
participation as easy and straightforward as possible.
"We continue to recruit patients to the RECOVERY trial, the huge
national trial which has identified the only drug so far known to
improve survival in hospitalised patients - dexamethasone. The
trial continues to investigate three possible treatments, including
using antibodies from patients who have recovered from
"On top of RECOVERY, we're also part of the ISARIC-CCP trial of
all COVID-positive patients admitted to hospital, CA-COVID, which
is looking into the common problem of blood clots which we see in
the disease, and PAN-COVID, which looks at women who have COVID-19
symptoms in pregnancy.
"Recruiting over 1,000 patients to these trials makes the Trust
a significant contributor, which has been recognised by the North
East and North Cumbria Local Research Network, which has made the
"We're enormously grateful to our patients and their families
for supporting this vital research, helping us better understand
this new virus and finding ways to combat it.
"As we head into autumn, as part of the Durham Tees Valley
Research Alliance - our partnership with North and South Tees NHS
Foundation Trusts, we'll be busy working on antibody and vaccine
"I'm proud that our hardworking research team has been
recognised by our regional Research Network, we're all excited to
be playing such an important part in helping to find the answers to
fight this disease."
There are a number of vaccines being identified and
safety-tested at the moment, but only large scale studies can give
researchers the information needed about how effective they are.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is working with
the NHS to recruit half a million people onto the NHS COVID-19
vaccine research registry by October. Those who volunteer and sign
up will be contacted by researchers to take part in COVID-19
vaccine research in the coming months.
Researchers are looking for people from all backgrounds, ages
and parts of the UK, with or without existing health conditions, to
take part in vaccine studies. Without volunteers, we can't find out
which vaccines are going to be effective. Our region currently has
the lowest rate for signing up for vaccine trials. By taking
part, you could help researchers find vaccines to protect us all
more quickly - which in turn could help the NHS and save lives. To
find out more, or register, go to the following website: https://bepartofresearch.nihr.ac.uk/vaccine-studies/
Published 2nd Sept 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