Wigan hospital heroes hailed for lifesaving research

NHS boss Sir Simon Stevens says around one million lives have been saved worldwide thanks to British research into Covid-19 treatments spearheaded by Wigan medics.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 9:52 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 9:54 am

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) has been key in supporting the work – even becoming the highest recruiting trust in the country for drug trial participants in the latest weekly figures.

“We recognised the important role research would play in this fight against Covid-19, and keen to ensure our patients would be in a position to receive what became ground breaking therapies, the Trust was one of the first in the country to begin,’ said Head of Research Christine Birchall.

At its peak, WWL had recruited 48 per cent of its Covid-19 patients for entry in the RECOVERY trial – a figure described as “staggering” by the Clinical Research Network Greater Manchester (CRN).

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sir Simon Stevens has praised the work of Wigan researchers

WWL Chief Executive Silas Nicholls said: “This is a brilliant achievement. To think we have played a role in this is amazing; it’s important that we also remember the good that has been done and how, here at WWL, we have contributed to this during the course of the pandemic.”

Led by Respiratory Consultant Dr Abdul Ashish and fully supported by his colleagues in the Trust, WWL has been in the position to offer patients the opportunity to participate and receive medications which have been proven to save lives.

Christine Birchall praised the teamwork involved: “To achieve these results requires a significant collaborative effort and this has involved many members of our Trust family.

“The work of Clinicians and their teams, the Research Delivery team, the Research Governance team led by Joanne Farnworth, ICU, the Pharmacy, Louise McCreery and the Bloodbank, and Ward staff have all played their part.”

WWL have consistently exceeded recruitment expectations and have maintained a Top 10 position in the UK, recently gaining the No.1 position in one week with 48% of patients admitted with Covid taking part in the RECOVERY trial.

Dr Ashish said: “The recruitment figures here at WWL are the product of great teamwork across the board and we are extremely proud to have played such a significant role in the delivery of the RECOVERY trial, undoubtedly saving precious lives.

“Our staff have taken part with dedication and enthusiasm, but we must also thank the patients who have agreed to be part of this urgent public health study.”

The RECOVERY study is jointly funded by the National Institute for Health Research with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). While delivery of the study is supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network and the devolved administrations, working alongside the NHS.

Thank you for reading. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers. If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription. Thanks again.