The research team at Northampton General Hospital have played a major role in the breakthrough discovery of Dexamethasone for Covid-19 patients.

The breakthrough has been attributed to the nationwide RECOVERY trial (Randomised Evaluation of Covid-19 therapy). Northampton General Hospital Research and Development Department was one of the first hospitals to sign up to the trial. The hospital has been trialing a range of potential Covid-19 treatments.

Dexamethasone has been shown to significantly improve the outcome of patients diagnosed with Covid-19.  Dexamethasone, a low-cost steroid drug, reduces the death rate of Covid-19 patients who require oxygen or ventilation support by up to a third.

The RECOVERY trial has posed new challenges for all trusts participating. The speed of which the trials were conducted is testament to the efficiency and adaptability of all hospitals that partook in trialing Dexamethasone. 

Michelle Spinks, Interim Head of Research and Development at Northampton General Hospital, praised the Northampton Hospital staff saying that: “Along with many other hospitals we were keen to participate in the RECOVERY trial and the team were able to complete study set-up and recruitment in just 10 days.”

Since Northampton began trials, they have successfully recruited over 240 patients.

The staff at Northampton General Hospital have received a chorus of praise for their hard work, “I am deeply proud that our fabulous research and clinical teams have made such a significant contribution to this study which we now know will save many thousands of lives” said Medical Director, Matthew Metcalfe.

The trials are still taking place at Northampton General and across the UK with the hope that further research can help to identify and develop new Covid-19 treatments.

Ms. Spinks added: “To see some light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel is what we had been hoping for.”

Northampton General Hospital has a fully-functioning Research and Development Centre supported by funding from the NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) Clinical Research Network East Midlands.