How ENRICH is helping the fight against Covid-19 in the North East and North Cumbria
- Health & Social Care Research, Infectious diseases
From her care home in North Tyneside, Connie Hammersley has played a small but significant role in efforts to combat Covid-19.
Connie is a resident at Eastbourne House residential care home in North Shields, which is part of ENRICH.
ENRICH brings together care home staff, residents and their families with researchers. It provides a toolkit of resources to help care homes make the most of research; and researchers to set up and run studies effectively and collaboratively in care homes.
She developed Covid-19 early last year. While she was ill, Connie took part in a national trial, PRINCIPLE, aimed at finding drugs to treat patients with the virus in the community.
Connie said: “I was quite willing to give my opinion and experience of it, especially if it would help other people.
“I didn't find it really anything to bother me, to worry me. As far as I was concerned, I was trying to help other people with it.”
This COVID study is unusual because it is based not in hospitals but around GP practices.
Whitley Bay GP Justine Norman says the key is discovering whether everyday medications, prescribed regularly by GPs, could successfully treat the virus.
Dr Justine Norman said: “It's really important that we're able to keep these patients at home as much as we can and only escalate them to hospital if they become seriously unwell. If we can shorten recovery time by using some medications that we use every day in general practice, that would be really useful.”
Recruitment for the PRINCIPLE trial initially concentrated on people who are vulnerable to serious illness from COVID, including those who are older and have underlying conditions. Those criteria have now been widened.
Full details, and how to apply to take part in PRINCIPLE, can be found here.