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Hundreds tune in to hear about latest Long COVID trials

Research leaders in the field of Long COVID, as well as patients living with the condition, came together during a national webinar hosted by CRN North Thames.

The event, on 16 February, brought together those from all over the UK and further afield with a keen interest in the condition, be they researchers, patients, or in some cases, both. At its peak, the event had more than 500 attendees.

During the two-hour session, researchers presented details and early findings from Long-COVID studies, including PHOSP-COVIDCONVALESCENCE and the CLoCK study; as well as HEAL-COVID, the UK’s only national trial that aims to identify treatments beneficial to patients discharged from hospital. Upcoming research studies including STIMULATE ICP were also featured, as was a local community perspective of dealing with Long-COVID.

There was also a global perspective on the disease, which was offered by Dr Shinichiro Morioka of the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo, Japan.

There was strong patient representation at the event, both in terms of attendees and speakers. As well as a lively Q&A to close the event, a patient panel featuring three people living with the condition took place. The panel discussed their experience of the condition as well as their experience of accessing research relating to it.

Dr Swapna Mandal, CRN North Thames COVID lead and one of the co-organisers of the event, said: “It was great that the event received such a widespread, enthusiastic and engaged audience.

“While it was obviously important for researchers and patients to hear the latest developments in this emerging field, we are particularly grateful to patient groups for participating and helping clinicians and researchers understand what the future direction of travel should be.”

Lyth Hishmeh, one of the patient panel at the event and also a researcher and co-founder of the LongCovidSOS patient advocacy organisation, said: “I was pleased to be given the opportunity to represent Long COVID patients, along with my colleagues, and to provide a voice on the current state of research into Long COVID, what we feel is missing, and the possible future direction of further research. The patient community has, for a long time, hoped that similar initiatives would be brought forward. I felt heard and valued. The NIHR is clearly taking a lead in involving patients in its work.”


Video recordings of the webinar presentations can be accessed by the links in the agenda below: 


15:00-15:05 Welcome and Introduction: Dr Amar Shah, North Thames CRN Long COVID fellow

15:05-15:15 PHOSP-COVID: Professor Louise Wain, Genetic Epidemiology Group, department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester

15:15-15:25 HEAL COVID: Professor Charlotte Summers, Director of Clinical Academic Training, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine

15:25-15:35 CONVALESCENCE Study: Dr Chloe Park, Cardiometabolic group, MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing, UCL

15:35-15:45 CLoCK Study: Professor Sir Terence Stephenson, Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, Chair, Health Research Authority for England

15:45-15:55 STIMULATE ICP: Professor Amitava Banerjee, Institute of Health Informatics and consultant cardiologist, UCL

15:55-16:05 My Long COVID Journey - a patient-led panel

16:05-16:15 The burden of Long-COVID in primary care: Dr Henry Goodfellow, academic clinical lecturer in primary care and population health, UCL

16:15-16:25 Local community experience of Long COVID: Heidi Ridsdale, community physiotherapist and clinical lead for the Camden integrated primary care service; and Rachel Okin, complex neuro navigator and physiotherapist for Camden integrated primary care service

16:25-16:35 An overview of Long-COVID research in Japan: Dr Shinichiro Morioka, deputy director, department of medical education, AMR Clinical reference Centre, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Tokyo, Japan

16:35-16:55 Questions and Open Discussion

16:55-17:00 Closing statements