Patients in north Cumbria with symptoms of coronavirus are being given the opportunity to support research into Coronavirus/COVID-19.
The NHS, through its National Institute for Health Research, has set up national clinical research trials across the UK to reliably assess possible treatments for Coronavirus. The trials are taking place in hospitals in north Cumbria - including the intensive care units (ICUs) - and a host of GP surgeries.
North Cumbria is one of the first areas in the UK to open these studies. The three key national trials running have different focuses and names:
- PRINCIPLE – This includes higher risk patients in primary care (GP surgeries) to evaluate potential treatments for COVID-19 infection in older people.
- RECOVERY – This involves patients in hospital with confirmed COVID-19 and aims to identify treatments that may be help their recovery.
- REMAP-CAP – This trial focuses on critically ill patients with community-acquired pneumonia (or CAP) which is a significant cause of hospitalisation and illness world-wide.
The hospital-based research trials are led by consultant anaesthetist Dr Tim Smith and consultant microbiologist Dr Clive Graham, with support from the Trust’s research staff. Hospitalised patients with COVID-19 at the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven who can take part will be given the opportunity to do so.
Prof Dave Dagnan, Clinical Director for Research at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“In hospital settings eligible COVID-19 patients are being asked to join this research where possible. These trials are an important opportunity for people in north Cumbria to contribute to this critical research; trying to find answers that may ultimately help patients with COVID-19.
“The results will be essential in the future treatment of patients in our region, the UK and around the world.”
In the community, a number of GP surgeries are inviting people to take part in the PRINCIPLE research trial in north Cumbria. Currently seven GP surgeries are able to invite patients to take part in the trial, with more GP surgeries planning to join in the next few weeks. To be involved in the PRINCIPLE trial, patients need to be experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 infection (a high temperature/fever, or a new continuous cough). Patients also need to be aged between 50 and 64 with certain medical problems OR over 65 years of age.
The north Cumbria GP surgeries currently running this research trial are:
- Carlisle Healthcare
- Fellview Healthcare
- Eden Medical Group
- Wigton Group Medical Practice
- Silloth Group Medical Practice
- Aspatria Medical Group
- Temple Sowerby Medical Practice
- Queen Street Medical Practice (Whitehaven)
- Oxford Street Surgery (Workington)
Patients can find out more about the PRINCIPLE trial and register their interest by visiting: https://www.ncic.nhs.uk/trust/research-development. The contact details found here should be the first port of call for any trial-specific queries.
Prof Leon Jonker, Science and Innovation Manager said:
“This is a great opportunity for north Cumbria; we have been really quick off the mark to make this trial available for our region, thanks to ongoing collaboration between North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and a number of GP surgeries.
“We will be sending out information regarding the PRINCIPLE trial to the 25,000+ patients in the participating surgeries who are eligible to join, but we are also encouraging people to visit the Trust’s web link if they hear about this through other means.”
Dr Stacey Fisher – Research GP (Local lead for PRINCIPLE study) added:
“For this trial, people who think they may have COVID-19 can join if they have had the symptoms for fewer than eight days. We are therefore asking anyone in the relevant groups to visit the web link as early as possible if they think they have symptoms of Coronavirus."
Patients should continue to follow national NHS advice, by contacting 111 for concerns about their health related to Coronavirus/COVID-19, or their own GP surgery (111 if out of hours) if they have other health concerns.