Patients who have been admitted to hospital with Covid-19 can now take part in a research trial at Hinchingbrooke Hospital to look at treatments for the lung disease.
The research team at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust has already begun recruiting patients and is now looking for more people to take part.
The recovery trial (the randomised evaluation of COVID-19 therapy) is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation, and is led by the University of Oxford.
It will determine whether or not any of the possible new treatments are more or less effective than those currently used to treat Covid-19 patients.
It was launched at Peterborough City and Hinchingbrooke Hospitals on Monday, March 30.
The treatments initially included in the trial are, Iopinavir-Ritonavir (normally used to treat HIV), the steroid Dexamethasone (which is used in a wide range of conditions to reduce inflammation) and Hydroxychloroquine (used to treat Malaria and rheumatological diseases).
Patients joining the trial are randomly allocated to receive one of the three drugs being studied or no additional medication.
The trial design enables new treatments to be added as new treatments become available.
Each patient must be 18 years or older and admitted to hospital with a positive Covid-19 result.
They then receive one of the four randomised types of treatment for a 10-day period unless they are discharged beforehand.
Respiratory consultant, Dr Jakki Faccenda, has been working with the research team and front line clinical staff to get the trial up and running and has been mirroring efforts at the Hinchingbrooke site.
Dr Faccenda, said: “This has been a huge collaborative effort by all of the staff involved and I am incredibly proud of the way everyone has been working together to roll the trial out as quickly as possible.
“It is a great opportunity for us to be involved with this national research trial, which could deliver potentially life-saving treatment for our patients.
“The feedback so far has been very positive and we will continue to recruit additional patients to help us find out the best way to treat this virus.”