Research has a crucial role in understanding more about Covid-19, how to tackle it and the longer-term impact this pandemic will have on communities.
Clinical and research staff across the NCA have responded quickly to this unprecedented situation and we have 12 important research studies open across our sites, with more to follow.
Among them are studies that have been classified as national priorities, including the RECOVERY trial testing potential treatments and an observational study backed by Oxford University collecting samples and data to help with clinical characterisation.
Locally, we have begun a Covid-19 sub-collection as part of the NCA Research Collection, which is collecting blood samples from infected patients to help identify early on those who are going to become severely unwell so they can be taken to intensive care units in good time.
We are also contributing to studies looking at staff well-being during the outbreak.
Our research staff are prioritising Covid-19 studies and recruitment to other research has been suspended to free up staff to support clinical colleagues.The NCA efforts are part of a wider Greater Manchester response harnessing the power of staff at the Northern Care Alliance, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and The University of Manchester.
The new Rapid Response Research Group is backed by Health Innovation Manchester, which accelerates research to improve the health and wellbeing of Greater Manchester’s 2.8m citizens, as well as the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre and NIHR Manchester Clinical Research Facility.
The NCA’s Director of Research Operations Professor Steve Woby said: “We face an unprecedented challenge and it is crucial that we fully utilise our collective research expertise and capabilities to limit the spread of Covid-19, minimise the number of lives lost and reduce the impact of the outbreak on our communities.
“Our medical, clinical and research staff are united in their determination to do everything we can to provide the best care and treatment to our patients.
“Research has a key role to play and we are focussing our efforts on improving diagnosis and testing, finding new treatments, developing preventative measures and vaccines, understanding disease mechanisms, and supporting patients, staff and the wider community.”
Professor Ian Bruce, Director of the Biomedical Research Centre, Academic Director of Health Innovation Manchester, and a Professor of Rheumatology at the Kellgren Centre, said: “The speed at which our scientific community has stepped up to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak is outstanding and a testament to Greater Manchester’s strong clinical-academic leadership and research assets.
“Research has a significant role in understanding more about this new disease, how to tackle it and the longer-term impact this pandemic will have on communities.”