From today (Thursday 16 December), Barts Health NHS Trust will be offering neutralising monoclonal antibody (nMAb) treatment to people with Covid-19 at Mile End Hospital, and will be offering at-home antiviral treatment for the disease as well.
This is the first time these treatments – which have to be given within 72 hours (nMAb treatment) or five days (antiviral treatment) of a positive Covid-19 PCR test – will be widely available to the people of north east London.
People with underlying health conditions that put them at risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 will be sent a letter – along with a PCR test – by the NHS. If they experience symptoms, they will then need to do a PCR test. If this is positive, they will be contacted by their doctor or NHS 111 to discuss the possibility of having nMAb or antiviral treatment.
Those deemed eligible will be referred to Barts Health. From there, medical professionals at the Trust will determine if the patient should have nMAb treatment as a day-patient, antiviral treatment at home or neither.
Fiona Ashworth Director of Covid-19 treatments and vaccines at Barts Health said: “Barts Health are once again proud to be playing a vital role in the fight against Covid-19. Our hope is that by offering these services to people across north east London, we can prevent people becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 and reduce the number of people who need to be hospitalised with the condition.
“Vaccination is the best way to reduce your chances of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 and I encourage everyone to get their vaccine – first, second or booster dose – as soon as possible. But for those who do become ill when infected, these treatments will help alleviate their symptoms, speed up their recovery time and could mean fewer people are admitted to hospital.”
Those who are eligible to have the antiviral treatment will be sent the medication directly and so shouldn’t leave their home. The medication is taken at home, for five days, as four capsules twice a day, 12 hours apart.
Those who are eligible to have nMAb treatment will be collected from their home and brought directly to the Barts Health Covid-19 Medicine Delivery Unit (CMDU) at Mile End Hospital, where they will be given the treatment over the course of one to two hours. They will then be brought back to their home.