COVID-19 research

COVID-19 research

Get involved in COVID-19 research at Barts Health

'The UK is home to incredible scientists and researchers who are all at the forefront of their field, and all united in their aim; protecting people’s lives from coronavirus.', Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Advisor

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect lungs and airways. As it is a new disease we need to find out as much as we can about it, as soon as possible. Research allows us to answer questions about COVID-19. By gathering information about a disease we can find ways of diagnosing it faster and better ways of looking after and treating people with the disease.

Why do we need research into COVID-19?

At present, there is no established treatment for COVID-19. But there is some early evidence that certain licensed drugs for other diseases could help in improving outcomes in COVID-19 patients. Hence these drugs are being used to treat some of the COVID-19 patients in some of these studies (called interventional studies). Other ‘observational’ studies don’t alter treatment but collect blood samples and information about the patient to learn more about COVID-19. Such studies have no added risk, do not bring immediate benefit now, but will help doctors and scientists to better understand COVID-19.

There is a national effort to learn about the virus and how to treat it through research.

Taking part in COVID-19 clinical trials and studies 

If you are a patient presenting with COVID-19 symptoms at one of our hospitals, you may be approached with information about clinical trials and other studies we are running and we will invite you to consider taking part. To help you decide whether you want to take part, a member of staff will explain what the study or studies involve and answer any questions you might have. They will also give you patient information sheets (PIS) about the studies. You are under no obligation to say yes, and your standard care will not be affected if you decide not to take part.

In cases where a patient with COVID-19 symptoms, is unable to consent to take part in a study themselves, we will approach their next of kin to ask their opinion whether the patient would want to be involved or not. If you know already that taking part in COVID-19 research is something you would like to do, talk to your next of kin and share your views with them.

Find out which COVID-19 studies are currently open at Barts Health 

Barts Health COVID-19 Research PPIE Advisory Group

The Barts Health COVID-19 Research Patient and Public Inolvement and Engagement (PPIE) Advisory Group was established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily to provide a forum for those who are interested in working together to promote COVID-19 research and related patient and public involvement/engagement. 

The lay advisory group consists of local patient representatives, Barts Health Patient Research Champions and staff from the Barts Health Research Engagement and Diffusion team. 

The group currently meets weekly to discuss the development of projects in raising awareness of COVID-19 research and the related patient and public involvement. 

Read the Terms of Reference for the advisory group (coming soon) 

For more information email the Barts Health Research Engagement and Diffusion team 

Two of our lay advisors, Paul and Ellie.

Read more about COVID-19 research

British Heart Foundation COVID-19 hub

For more information on heart conditions and the coronavirus, nurses answering your questions, emotional support and the heart helpline.

NIHR Be part of research - frequently asked questions about COVID-19

UKRI Coronavirus explained

FutureLearn free online course 

This FutureLearn, free online course, covers how COVID-19 emerged and was identified , how it spread, public health measures for COVID-19 worldwide and what we need to address going forward. This course is open to anyone working in health or members of the public interested in learning more about the virus. 

Trials Connect - COVID-19 study information  (put together by a patient-led group) 

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) latest COVID-19 news.

Read about others who have taken part in research

In 2018/2019 over 1 million people took part in research. This public participation has helped provide valuable knowledge to help people live healthier and better lives now and in the future. 

Read about the experiences of others taking part in research at the NIHR website and the Healthtalk website