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Local people in Wessex help UK Covid-19 research pass one million participants

Local people in Wessex help UK Covid-19 research pass one million participants

More than one million participants (1,075,000) have now taken part in Covid-19 research across the UK, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and NHS can proudly announce.

Local people across the Wessex region, which covers Dorset, Hampshire, South Wiltshire and Isle of Wight, have played an important role in reaching this remarkable milestone.

In Wessex, over 20,000 participants have taken part in 39 nationally-prioritised Covid-19 studies supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) Wessex.

Nationally, the NIHR has supported more than 180 studies into Covid-19 since the onset of the pandemic. More than 100 of these studies were also funded by the NIHR, amounting to over £108 million given to dedicated Covid-19 research.

The milestone of one million participants has been achieved across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales by members of the public, NHS doctors and nurses, NIHR research staff and researchers, regulators, life science companies, research funders and policy makers.

Across the Wessex region, 192 NHS sites have supported and delivered this vital research - by helping their patients to take part.
Their efforts have enabled world-leading research into therapeutics such as dexamethasone and tocilizumab and the delivery of vaccine trials such as Oxford/AstraZeneca and Novavax.

Ground-breaking platform studies such as RECOVERY, PRINCIPLE and REMAP-CAP have all made a significant contribution to the global understanding of Covid-19.

These discoveries have significantly improved outcomes for people who get the virus, especially those most at risk of becoming severely unwell and hospitalised. Without such significant support from the public, this vital research would not have been possible.

Professor Saul Faust, Clinical Director of CRN Wessex, said:

“Research has played a pivotal role in tackling the pandemic thanks to patients and members of the public who have given their time to take part in urgent public health studies.

“We’d like to say thank you to all the research participants and teams across Wessex for being part of this enormous and collaborative research effort. Their contribution and dedication has improved patient care, changed global practice and saved lives.”

Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England and co-lead for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), added:

“Reaching one million participants in COVID-19 research shows the impressive selflessness of people across the UK who have volunteered to take part. This research has led to vaccines, better treatments and improved care.

“A huge thank you to everyone who has taken part in, led or enabled the research.”

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said:

“During the darkness of this pandemic, NHS clinical researchers, UK scientists and one million volunteer patients have together helped illuminate a more hopeful path for humanity.

“Thanks to their remarkable and selfless work, they have made unique and decisive contributions to therapies and vaccines for our shared global fight against Covid-19. It is amazing to consider that more than one million people in this country who have selflessly volunteered to participate in our research will themselves help save over a million lives worldwide."

Thanking our local research teams, participants and NHS heroes

To coincide with the announcement of one million participants, the NIHR and NHS are jointly launching the #ResearchVsCovid ‘thank you’ campaign to celebrate the efforts of participants, researchers and healthcare professionals for their involvement in COVID-19 research.

Local people are encouraged to join in with their own thank yous to anyone they know who has been involved in COVID research in some way.

To find out more and get involved, please visit the NIHR’s website.