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People from the North East and North Cumbria help UK COVID-19 research pass one million participants

People from the North East and North Cumbria help UK COVID-19 research pass one million participants

More than one million participants 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 North East and North Cumbria have played an important role in reaching this remarkable milestone, with 24,200 participants taking part in 44 nationally-prioritised COVID-19 studies supported by the Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the NIHR has supported more than 180 studies into COVID-19 right across the country. Of these, more than 100 studies were also funded by the NIHR, amounting to more than £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.

Their efforts have enabled world-leading research into therapeutics such as dexamethasone and tocilizumab, delivery of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, and more. 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.

Thanking our local research 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. Visit this website to find out how you can join in.

The campaign kicks off with a series of video thank yous to participants, researchers and NHS staff. These celebratory videos will feature well-known figures including England’s Chief Medical Officer Prof. Chris Whitty and NHS England Chief Executive, Sir Simon Stevens, and will draw attention to the incredible work and dedication that led to this research. Click here to view the launch video.

Professor Caroline Wroe, Clinical Director at NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria said:
“Having reached 1 million participants in COVID-19 research is a huge milestone and I am very proud of all the people across the North East and North Cumbria who have taken part in these important studies. COVID-19 has affected our lives profoundly over the last year, but thanks to these studies we have been able to develop vaccines, treatments, and a much better understanding of the disease. A heartfelt thank you to all the participants who made this research possible!”

Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England and co-lead for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), said:
“Reaching 1million 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."