Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth breaks records for patient participation in vital trials - including for Covid-19 - and opens new research centre

RESEARCHERS at Queen Alexandra Hospital celebrated an ‘amazing achievement’ and opened a new medical research unit after recruiting their highest ever number of patients for vital clinical trials last year – with more than 7,500 alone taking part in Covid-19 studies.

Monday, 9th May 2022, 12:52 pm

In 2021/22 research teams across Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust (PHU) broke their record for trial participants since launching in 2008.

Last year more than 14,240 patients took part in 127 studies across 26 departments in the trust, with more than 7,500 of those involved in Covid-19 to help advance global understanding of the virus.

This meant Portsmouth was ranked as the highest recruiting large acute trust across the country and 11th of all trusts.

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PHU chief executive Penny Emerit and Anoop Chauhan, executive director of research at PHU

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Anoop Chauhan, executive director of research at PHU, said: ‘I am so proud of what our research teams have achieved over the last two years working with colleagues across the trust to improve patient care through involvement in several studies, including national Covid trials.

‘Every single patient in our trust who has taken part in our research trials has contributed to the development of future and we really couldn’t do it without the support of our community.’

Portsmouth trust is ranked 11th nationally for Covid trial recruitment with 5,410 patients into the clinical characterisation protocol study, 2,492 into a home grown stop Covid-19 study and 317 into the Siren study.

Kerry Brooks, who took part in PHU's Covid recovery trial

And vaccine studies at the hospital welcomed 238 patients, while 609 patients were recruited into the Recovery trial, which tests a range of treatments for patients hospitalised with Covid-19 – placing PHU as the third highest recruiting site in the UK for the trial.

Mum-of-three Kerry Brooks was recruited on to the Recovery trial after she came into QA Hospital with Covid-19.

Kerry has rheumatoid arthritis and rare chronic lung condition, bronchiolitis obliterans, which makes her more vulnerable to the virus, and she is currently awaiting a lung transplant.

The 46-year-old said: ‘The research team were so lovely and Liz the research nurse was so helpful and explained about the trial and how it works.

‘Taking part in research is good because it can help you and it is really important because it can help others in the future as well.’

To support further Covid-19 research and recruitment of patients to trials, a new medical research unit has opened.

Chief executive Penny Emerit added: ‘I want to say a massive well done to all of our research teams. What an amazing achievement it is to get to more than 14,000.

‘It is really important that we take the opportunity to celebrate and be really proud of what we have achieved.’

To find out more about research at PHU, including how to take part in trials, visit porthosp.nhs.uk/research.