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Covid-19 SIREN Study Draws Support From Across the South West Healthcare Community

Covid-19 SIREN Study Draws Support From Across the South West Healthcare Community
Pictured: Left - Al Beattie receives the antibody test, Right - The team at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

Healthcare staff from across the Westcountry have been instrumental in stepping up to support the SIREN Study as researchers look to gain a clear picture of prevalence of Covid-19 and the impact it has on the body. The study has seen huge levels of support nationally and NHS staff from across the South West Peninsula have been volunteering to participate.

Since launching on 21/5/2020 over 2,800 NHS employees* in the South West Peninsula region, from eight Trusts, have taken the antibody test and completed a short questionnaire. This included Corinna Mossop, R&D Manager University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, who was at the front of the queue and the first person in the country to take the test. Following her test she said:

“A key question, particularly relevant for health care workers, is whether a previous infection gives long lasting immunity to re-infection and the SIREN Study sets out to answer this question so I am delighted to be part of it and honoured to be the first UK participant.”

As part of the study up to 10,000 healthcare workers will be studied for at least a year, with data collected recording history of infection and any new symptoms that appear during the course of the study.

Individuals will have nose and throat swabs and blood samples taken regularly to determine new acute infections and measure their antibody response. The study will provide vital information to help better understand the future impact of Covid-19 on the population.

Al Beattie, Assistant Research Practitioner, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust felt participating in the study was important to him. He said:

“As an NHS Research Practitioner, it is clear to me that this is important research as we are all affected by the threat of Covid-19. I personally consider this to be my duty to support this incredibly important research and hope that the findings support the development of measures to meet the ongoing challenge of Covid-19.”

As research delivery staff balance the delivery of Urgent Public Health studies, the restarting of research paused as a result of Covid-19 and the coordination of Covid-19 vaccine trials they have again demonstrated their commitment to beating Covid-19 by volunteering in massive numbers to participate in this important trial.

*Data taken 23/7/2020

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