1. ITV Report

Patients in NI being recruited to take part in clinical trials on Covid-19

Appeal for people in NI to take part in NHS Covid-19 clinical trials. Credit: ITV

Patients in Northern Ireland are being recruited to take part in NHS clinical trials on Covid-19.

These trials will include patients in primary care, hospital care and intensive care units.

It comes as researchers at Queen's University lead a UK-wide trial into cell therapy treatment for coronavirus patients.

Queens University will investigate the use of allogenic Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) in patients with a complication known as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) caused by Covid-19.

Health Minister, Robin Swann has welcomed the fact that Northern Ireland is playing a full part in the trials.

In a statement he said: “These trials will benefit individual patients and also contribute significantly to our learning about the virus and how to treat it. The most promising potential treatments have been identified – using international evidence and NHS expertise.

“The trials are another key part of the fightback against Covid-19. Our involvement once again underlines the benefits of being part of the wider NHS family.”

Those who volunteer for studies will help others in the future.

– Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride

Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said: “The faster people are recruited to clinical trials and other studies, the sooner we will get the evidence so patients can get the best possible treatment."

The UK’s four Chief Medical Officers have written to doctors to encourage participation in the trials.