Research in Leicester has been highlighted in a new report from the Medical Schools Council (MSC): Responding to a pandemic: UK universities’ response to COVID-19.
The report has collated case studies from across the country to showcase the range and impact of university-led COVID-19 studies. UK universities have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, conducting essential research that has helped the UK lead the global scientific response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Two National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) studies were included in the report as examples of the considerable work that is taking place in the UK.
The UK-REACH study was included in the report in response to a recent PHE report highlighting how 63 percent of healthcare workers who died from COVID-19 were from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background.
UK-REACH, led by Professor Manish Pareek Associate Clinical Professor in Infectious Diseases at the University of Leicester, is the first UK study to be conducted on a large scale investigating why ethnic minority healthcare workers could be at greater risk of COVID-19.
Dr Manish Pareek said: “The new report from the MSC is an important part of sharing the great work taking place across the UK. The UK-REACH study and sub-studies within it are vital to our understanding of the risks and impacts of COVID-19 on our colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds.
“The study also benefits from our stakeholder group, including General Medical Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, General Dental Council, NHS Employers and the Professionals’ Associations. By working with these organisations our findings can lead to policy change in near real-time, hopefully leading to the increased wellbeing of healthcare staff.”
The PHOSP-COVID study also featured in the report for seeking to understand why some people recover from COVID-19 more quickly than others, why some patients develop other health problems later on, which treatments received in hospital or afterwards impact longer term recovery, and how patient care can be improved after they have been discharged from hospital.
The study, led by Professor Chris Brightling, NIHR Senior Investigator and Clinical Professor in Respiratory Medicine at the University of Leicester, is expected to recruit 10,000 patients who were admitted to UK hospital sites with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.
Professor Chris Brightling said: “This report has brought together a number of important UK studies responding to the coronavirus pandemic. We’re pleased that PHOSP-COVID has been included as an example of how we’re researching the long-term effects of COVID-19.
“When you consider that over half a million people in the UK have been admitted to hospital as a result of COVID-19 infection, this research is essential in ensuring they have the best support during their recovery.”
To read the full MSC report, visit: https://www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2923/responding-to-a-pandemic-uk-universities-response-to-covid-19.pdf