Eastbourne and Hastings hospitals help to find treatment for Covid-19

Treatments for the coronavirus are being looked at by the trust which runs the DGH and Conquest hospitals.


The East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust’s team in the clinical research department have been using their expertise, resources and facilities to oversee participation in national and international research studies to develop treatments for Covid-19.

Head of research Liz Still said, “We are proud of our contribution to major international research in the fight to develop treatments for Covid-19.

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“The virus is a new disease which we need to find out as much as we can about it, as soon as possible. Research allows us to answer questions about Covid-19. By gathering information about a disease we can find ways of diagnosing it faster and better ways of looking after and treating people with the disease.”

In January the trust was approached to take part in research for all patients with suspected and confirmed Covid-19 and began to collect anonymous information about all people admitted to the DGH, Conquest and Bexhill hospitals.

Then, in late March, the trust was approached to set up the RECOVERY clinical trial involving five different medicines. These were already on the market, but were being used in a different way.

The trust worked to open the trial within 16 days of receiving study information, and recruited the first patient within a further seven days.

A trust spokesperson described it as an “exceptional performance” when the target is usually 70 days. A total of 22 patients have been recruited so far.

The trial, said the spokesperson, has led to ground breaking results in the use of dexamethasone which can prevent serious complications and death in significant numbers of patients around the world.

The trust has opened a total of seven urgent public health Covid-19 research studies, and three related studies.

This has enabled 370 patients to contribute to this research. The studies involved research into medicines, oxygen use, triage in emergency departments, critical care, pregnancy and neo-natal specialities and critical care rehabilitation.

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