Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH) has successfully recruited its 100th patient for the RECOVERY Trial, a study which aims to compare several different treatments that may be beneficial for people with coronavirus (COVID-19).

The study, led by the University of Oxford, is operating from over 160 hospitals and SASH has contributed by recruiting over 100 patients in less than a month.

As there are no current treatments of proven value against COVID-19, the research and development team based at East Surrey Hospital, Redhill, are determined to help improve understanding of the disease and find the best treatments.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) are working with the NHS, as well as universities, pharmaceuticals and other organisations to help test treatments, assessing their suitability for treating COVID-19.

Patients being cared for with coronavirus are offered the choice to take part in the RECOVERY Trial, and those who accept are either given the usual care or some additional treatments. The approved additional treatments include existing therapies such as steroids, antibiotics, HIV medication, antivirals and antimalarial agents. They have been recommended for testing by the expert panel that advise Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England.

Dr Elspeth Potton, the principle investigator leading on the study at SASH said: “I wanted our team to take on the trial as we are caring for patients with COVID-19. Prior to this trial we were preventing spread and acquisition of infection. We can now participate in a national clinical trial which will answer important clinical questions about potential treatments and push forward treatment options for future patients. Participating has been so rewarding and demonstrates the amazing team spirit of colleagues at SASH.”

A patient,  who asked to remain anonymous, received treatment at East Surrey Hospital for coronavirus and took part in the RECOVERY Trial and said: “I don’t like hospitals but everybody was totally amazing. Everybody was lovely at such a very scary time. I would have liked to hug everybody. I hope that by participating in the RECOVERY Trial I will help other people as well as myself.”

Michael Wilson CBE, chief executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Robust research will be crucial in our efforts to address coronavirus so we are very pleased to be working with partners across the country to be at the forefront of improving our understanding of the disease. We are particularly grateful to all those who have chosen to take part.”

As well as the RECOVERY Trial, SASH are participating in a number of other research studies involving data collection and a study on deaths from infectious diseases.