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Trust to conduct research into COVID-19 virus

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH) is contributing to the national COVID-19 research effort, by taking part in a new study of the coronavirus.

The Research & Development team at ROH have opened ISARIC-4C, a COVID characterisation study run by the University of Oxford and funded by the Wellcome Trust. This study is listed by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) as one of national priority.

Infectious disease is the single biggest cause of death worldwide. New infectious agents, such as the SARS coronavirus, new strains of influenza and HIV, continually emerge and require new investigations to understand how the disease works and how it interacts with the person infected.

This study is designed for the rapid, coordinated clinical investigation of patients with confirmed novel coronavirus infection. It has been designed to maximise the likelihood that as much data as possible is collected and shared rapidly in a format that can be easily aggregated, tabulated and analysed across many different settings globally. It is designed to have some level of flexibility in order to ensure the broadest acceptance.

Kate Penny-Thomas, Lead Research Nurse at ROH is leading on the clinical set up of the study. She said: β€œIn the current climate, COVID-19 research is taking priority across all of healthcare. Whilst we are an orthopaedic hospital, COVID-19 affects us as much as any other site and we are in the position to be able to add to the global effort in understanding the disease and implications of COVID-19 through collecting data on how our patients are affected, particularly when undergoing surgery.”

Mr Adrian Gardner, Director of Research & Development at ROH, said: β€œI am very pleased that ROH is able to support this initiative, adding to the worldwide efforts whilst continuing to provide orthopaedic care for our patients.”

Professor Phil Begg, Executive Director of Strategy & Delivery added: "Research at pace is critical during this pandemic and the ROH R&D department is well equipped to respond and participate in this important study. Mr Gardner and the research team are geared up and ready to participate and will make a very positive contribution that will have an impact beyond Birmingham and the UK, but will form part of a global analysis as we seek to understand COVID-19."