Bradford leading the way with pioneering research into coronavirus

BRADFORD is playing a key role in vital research into coronavirus (Covid-19) and the impact of the pandemic.

The Bradford Royal Infirmary-based Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR) is at the forefront of research into finding an effective treatment for the virus, which has so far affected more than 108,000 people nationally and claimed the lives of more than 14,000.

BIHR Director, Professor John Wright, said: “As yet there are no proven treatments for Covid-19 and we urgently need to find cures if we are going to save lives. Bradford is one of the top clinical trials centres in the UK and we are harnessing our expertise to support cutting edge research into Covid-19.

“This includes clinical trials for new drugs, genetic studies to find out why some patients do better than others and longer term studies of the impact of Covid-19 on physical and mental health.

“One of biggest national studies is the RECOVERY trial in which we are looking at possible different treatments. This involves in-patients at Bradford Royal Infirmary who have Covid-19. We approach them and ask if they would like to take part in the trial and they are very eager to be involved with the research, as they feel not only does it help them but it can also help future patients.”

Highest recruiters

Associate Director for Research, Dr Dinesh Saralaya added: “So far, we have recruited 56 patients and an analysis of each of them has been carried out. This has made us one of the highest recruiters to the trial in Yorkshire and we are really pleased with the response from our patients. Our youngest patient so far was 28-years-old and our oldest, 83.”

The BIHR is also at the forefront of research looking into the effects of Covid-19 on mental health, and developing a response to this.

Professor Wright added: “BIHR researchers have also set up a Covid-19 Scientific Advisory Group (C-SAG) in partnership with the local authority and NHS partners which is harnessing our research infrastructure to support the district’s response to and recovery from coronavirus.

“After the pandemic is over, we are expecting a tsunami of physical and mental health problems from our community and beyond. People will be affected by anxiety and depression as a result of the fear from the pandemic and the effects of the lockdown and the isolation.”

Researchers are now inviting families who are part of the BIHR’s ground-breaking Born in Bradford project to share a first-hand insight into how the pandemic is affecting their physical health and mental wellbeing.  This is being done via a questionnaire online, by phone or via the post, and, is totally confidential.

The BIHR’s current areas of focused research activity include:

  • Understanding potential Covid-19 demands across the health and care system.
  • Understanding the impact of Covid-19 on our communities – including Born in Bradford families – both now and at regular points over the coming year.
  • Supporting the identification of groups whose vulnerability has increased as a direct or indirect consequence of Covid-19.
  • Developing plans to assess and model the medium and longer term direct and indirect impact of Covid-19 on health and care services and population health.



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