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Our multidisciplinary researchers are working to better understand, diagnose and treat COVID-19 in the community.

Identifying treatments for COVID-19 in older people in the community.

The PRINCIPLE trial platform is the national urgent public health trial for primary care and aims to find treatments for COVID-19 for older people. We want to find medicines that can help people with COVID-19 symptoms get better quickly and stop them needing to go to hospital. The trial is recruiting participants online via more than 800 GP practices across the UK.

Lead Investigators: Professor Chris Butler, Professor Richard Hobbs.

Research Group: Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit, Oxford RCGP Research & Surveillance Centre / Clinical Informatics and Health Outcomes Research Group

Funder: National Institute for Health Research, UKRI.

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Rapid reviews from Oxford's Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine.

The COVID-19 Evidence Service produces rapid reviews in response to questions from health professionals and policy makers at the front line of the coronavirus pandemic. More than 230 articles have been published since March 2020 and reviews have been cited across the global media and in international clinical guidelines. Reviews are produced by evidence synthesis experts from across the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and our partners.

Project lead: Professor Carl Heneghan

Research Group: Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine

Funding: Maris and David Willetts

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Community surveillance of COVID-19 and research in partnership with GP practices.

The RCGP Research Surveillance Centre is monitoring suspected cases of COVID-19 in the community via its national network of sentinal GP practices. The network are actively involved in clinical research studies, including the urgent national priority PRINCIPLE trial. The surveillance centre produce weekly reports for Public Health England via the COVID-19 Observatory.

Project lead: Professor Simon de Lusignan

Research Group: Clinical Informatics and Health Outcomes Research Group

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CONDOR provides a single national route to evaluate new diagnostic tests for COVID-19.

The CONDOR platform is accelerating how quickly promising COVID-19 diagnostics make it into real-world use. It is evaluating new COVID-19 diagnostics in the settings they will be used, such as in GP surgeries, care homes or hospitals, as well as their performance in laboratory settings.

Two studies sit within the CONDOR platform, RAPTOR C-19, which is evaluating diagnostic tests in primary care (led by the University of Oxford), and FALCON C-19, which is evaluating diagnostic tests in secondary care (led by the University of Manchester.

Co-led between the University of Oxford with Manchester University’s Diagnostic and Technology Accelerator (DiTA), project partners include NIHR MedTech and In Vitro Diagnostic Co-operatives based in Oxford, Leeds, London and Newcastle.  

Oxford co-leads: Associate Professor Gail Hayward (CONDOR), Dr Brian Nicholson (RAPTOR C-19)

Research Groups: NIHR Community Healthcare MedTech and In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative, Cancer Research Group

Funding: UKRI, NIHR, Asthma UK, British Lung Foundation

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A data-driven risk prediction model for individualised shielding advice.

We are developing a data-driven risk prediction model for COVID-19, supported by NHS Digital. This new model could be applied in a variety of health and care settings, including supporting GPs and specialists in consultations with their patients to provide more targeted and individualised advice based on individual levels of risk. 

The tool will be developed based on an analysis of the anonymised electronic health records of 8 million adults in the UK, accessed through the QResearch database. The data will be analysed to identify factors that can be used to predict those at highest risk of infection and serious illness from COVID-19. 

The project was commissioned from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer for England involves partners from across the UK.

Project lead: Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox

Research Group: Primary Care Epidemiology / QResearch

Funding: National Institute for Health Research, University of Oxford COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund

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A secure analytics platform for electronic health records in the NHS.

OpenSAFELY is a new secure analytics platform for electronic health records in the NHS, created to deliver urgent results during the global COVID-19 emergency. It is now successfully delivering analyses across more than 24 million patients’ full pseudonymised primary care NHS records.

Project lead: Dr Ben Goldacre

Research Group: DataLab

Funding: TBC

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This project will address the technological tools that GP surgeries use to interact with patients; the organisational and wider infrastructure changes that might be required to scale up and deliver better remote care; and what insights can be gleaned from this time of crisis that will help build a more resilient NHS.

Project lead: Professor Trish Greenhalgh

Research Group: IRIHS

Funding: Economic and Social Research Council

This project will analyse the UK pandemic response by collecting real-time responses from senior policymakers and stakeholders (Public Health England, Department of Health and Social Care, National Health Service) and the frontline experiences of healthcare workers, and by studying media and document sources. Their findings will inform senior policymakers.  The project is a collaboration with Professor Sally Sheard at the University of Liverpool.

Oxford co-lead: Dr Nina Gobat

Research Group: Infections and acute care

Funder: UKRI