We are supporting the local and national response to COVID-19

We are helping NHS staff at the frontine

  1. Dr. Ashley Price and Dr. Clare Lendrem from the Newcastle MIC are part of a team, led by Dr. Chris Duncan (Newcastle University), who have analysed the management and outcomes of individuals admitted to hospital with COVID-19.  They have also examined data from COVID-19 screening of health-care workers.  
  2. Dr. Clare Lendrem (Newcastle MIC) and Trevor Little (Newcastle BRC) have created the COV-HI database for reporting the incidence of hyper-inflammation in patients with COVID-19 who are critically ill.  They will also document the therapies that can potentially treat it.  This UK wide project is led in Newcastle by Prof. Matthew Collin.
  3. We are writing rapid reviews to help medical staff with their decision-making when treating patients for COVID-19. This work involves analysing the latest publications and reports along with translating and summarising national and global guidelines. We have examined:
    • the appropriateness and effectiveness of existing tests for diagnosing COVID-19
    • what additional medical tests provide the best insight when a patient with suspected COVID-19 has an inconclusive initial diagnosis
    • the pros and cons of different technologies that are used in COVID-19 testing
    • forecasting methods that could be used in the community to predict the risk of an individual with COVID-19 developing severe complications
    • specific clinical characteristics that may predict the likelihood of survival in patients who are admitted to hospital with COVID-19
    • using multiple tests as a reference standard when evaluating new diagnostic tests for COVID-19 in order to overcome the limitations of a single benchmark and produce standardised data.
    • whether individuals with asthma have an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe disease.
  4. Dr. Ashley Price and Dr. Sara Graziadio, from the Newcastle MIC, are members of the Newcastle Hospitals Trials oversight group who are aiding the rapid establishment of Urgent Public Health badged studies.
We are also assisting the national agenda to increase the capacity for diagnostic testing
  1. We are part of a national partnership awarded £1.3M to form the COVID-19 National DiagnOstic Research and Evaluation Platform (CONDOR) to robustly evaluate new COVID-19 tests in hospitals and the community.
  2. We are also working with Prof. Sue Mallett and Dr. Lavinia Ferrante di Ruffano (Birmingham Test Evaluation Group) and Prof. Chris Hyde (University of Exeter) to rigorously review the evidence regarding the clinical course of the disease so we can determine the optimal window for testing patients with new diagnostics. 
  3. Prof. John Simpson, Prof. Miles Witham and Dr. Joy Allen from the Newcastle MIC are members of the Urgent Public Health Group, set up by the Chief Medical Officer. They are providing expertise on diagnostics to support triaging of research studies of national importance.