Researchers in County Durham and Darlington doing ‘vital work’ on Covid-19 studies

RESEARCHERS from hospitals in County Durham and Darlington have been studying patients with coronavirus as part of the national effort to find treatments.

About 1,000 patients who were treated at Darlington Memorial Hospital and the University Hospital of North Durham for suspected or confirmed Covid-19 were recruited onto the trial.

James Limb, director of research and innovation, said, “Our research nurses and other members of our teams worked with those caring for patients with Covid-19 across our sites, ensuring patients were asked to participate when it was appropriate, ensuring they had all the information they needed and making participation as easy and straightforward as possible.

“We continue to recruit patients to the Recovery trial, the huge national trial which has identified the only drug so far known to improve survival in hospitalised patients – dexamethasone.

“The trial continues to investigate three possible treatments, including using antibodies from patients who have recovered from Covid-19.”

The researchers are also involved in other trials, one of all Covid-positive patients admitted to hospital, one looking into the common problems of blood clots and one looking at women who have Covid symptoms in pregnancy.

The trust has been given an “outstanding contribution to research” award for its contribution and is urging more people to take part in vaccine trials, after it emerged the North-East has the lowest sign-up rates.

Mr Limb added: “Recruiting over 1,000 patients to these trials makes the trust a significant contributor, which has been recognised by the North East and North Cumbria Local Research Network, which has made the award.

“We’re enormously grateful to our patients and their families for supporting this vital research, helping us better understand this new virus and finding ways to combat it. As we head into autumn, as part of the Durham Tees Valley Research Alliance – our partnership with North and South Tees NHS Foundation Trusts, we’ll be busy working on antibody and vaccine trials.”

“I’m proud that our hardworking research team has been recognised by our regional research network, we’re all excited to be playing such an important part in helping to find the answers to fight this disease.”

The researchers are now urging to people in the region to volunteer for vaccine studies. To find out more visit

The Northern Echo | Durham