COVID-19 is a new virus to humans and as there are currently no drugs of proven value against it, research has a huge part to play in the fight against the virus. Through research, we can test new drugs or interventions to find out if they could be helpful when added to the usual treatments for individuals with COVID-19.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) is one of the most research-active NHS organisations in the country and is taking a proactive approach to identify and deliver research projects relating to COVID-19.

The Trust has rapidly assembled an organisation-wide COVID-19 research delivery team of research nurses and clinical trials assistants, who are providing a 7-day service to help clinical teams identify and recruit patients for a number of national and international COVID-19 research studies.

They are also working closely with some colleagues from the University of Leeds who are investigating the reasons why some patients, unfortunately, do not have the mild to moderate illness that the majority experience, but instead develop a severe illness, frequently requiring ITU admission.

Funded by Leeds Hospitals Charity, the team aim to create a unique COVID-19 biobank over the coming weeks and months, to better understand and identify the high-risk patients earlier.

 Leeds playing a crucial role

Dr Jacqueline Andrews Director of Research and Innovation at Leeds Teaching Hospitals said: “LTHT is playing a crucial role in the global research effort against COVID-19. We have a number of research studies now open and are as ever extremely grateful for the help and support provided by our patients and staff.

For those who are hospitalised through COVID-19, we want to let you know that you may be asked to take part in a research study. Our COVID-19 research delivery team will be on hand to speak to interested patients who fit the criteria for each study.”

Leeds Hospitals Charity CEO Esther Wakeman said “It’s fantastic that Leeds Teaching Hospitals is already involved in national research for Covid-19. Here in Leeds we have amazing expertise in personalised medicine and that’s why Leeds Hospitals Charity is helping to fund the establishment of a biobank. This localised study will help us to understand why some patients may react to the virus more severely than others.”