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Shaolin Chidavaenzi: COVID-19 research update

Shaolin Chidavaenzi: COVID-19 research update

CRN WE has a flexible research delivery workforce known as the WE ReACH (West of England Research fAcilitation in Community and Healthcare Settings) team.

The team has been supporting COVID-19 research across the region. We asked Shaolin Chidavaenzi, one of our Clinical Research Practitioners, to update us on what she has been working on this week.

It’s been a really busy week. As a team we’ve been working to support a number of different COVID-19 studies across the West of England.

Since the COV001 vaccine study pre-screening went live last week, the study team have received a huge number of applications from people who are interested in taking part.

There are no currently licensed vaccines or specific treatments for COVID-19. The COV001 study will allow us to assess if healthy people can be protected from COVID-19 with a new vaccine. Participants will be randomly allocated to either receive the vaccine or a placebo injection and after the vaccination we will be collecting information about any symptoms that occur.

To help support the study team, myself and a few WE ReACH colleagues have been making pre-screening phone calls to check the eligibility of participants for the study. We have also been arranging appointments and organising paperwork for eligible participants to attend a screening visit.

The work we're doing will ensure that failures during the screening visits are minimised, as all ineligible people will have already been identified during the telephone pre-screening. The study has an exceptionally tight schedule so it’s really important that we work together to make sure it runs smoothly.

As a team, we have also been involved in the planning and feasibility of the vaccination aspect of this study. This week, our research nurses met with the Principle Investigator for the COV001 study to plan the vaccination clinics which will be starting next week. Our research nurses will be helping to vaccinate eligible participants once the clinics start.

Looking forward, we are also in discussions with North Bristol Trust about planning our support of the COV002 vaccine study in the future, which will be open to a larger population starting in June. This study is the follow on study from COV001 testing the same vaccine in a larger sample group.

This week, I have also undergone an induction at North Bristol Trust in order to support COVID-19 studies at Southmead Hospital, including the RECOVERYDISCOVER, and CCP-UK studies. This means that in the event that staff from North Bristol Trust are redeployed to do research at the NHS Nightingale Bristol, our team will be able to continue research at Southmead Hospital.

REPROVIDE is another study we are currently supporting. It is a six-year programme, which will investigate ways of improving how healthcare professionals respond to all family members experiencing or perpetrating domestic violence and abuse. This week I have been working with the study team to promote the study with sites and domestic violence services in the West of England.

I’m glad to be able to work together with the WE ReACH team and our partner organisations to contribute to the nationwide research efforts into the COVID-19 pandemic.