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Covid-19 research has dominated the news over the past year, and become the focus of research for the foreseeable future. Until recently, little has been known about the management of ever-increasing numbers of patients suffering from long-Covid, and the severity of the condition, for both healthcare practitioners and patients. 

Living with long-Covid

Over four million people have been infected by Covid-19 in the UK to-date but, for many survivors, this is only the start of their journey to recovery. Survivors experience debilitating symptoms such as exhaustion, breathlessness and anxiety for weeks and sometimes months after they were initially infected.

SPCR member and Professor of e-health at UCL, Elizabeth Murray (PI) and researchers at Barts Health, University College London Hospital, University of Southampton, University of Exeter and Living With, have created an innovative digital treatment programme for people with Long Covid that is being rolled out to hospitals across the south of England. The Living With Covid Recovery programme is carried out through a tablet or phone app by patients after they have left hospital.

The Covid digital rehabilitation product is live in Barts Health, CNWL, Solent, Southern Health and Isle of Wight NHS Trusts; and will be going live in a number of other hospitals shortly. In addition to providing advice on how to give safe, remote support, the digital dashboard gives healthcare workers an indication of how well the patient is progressing. 

The programme is being developed by UCL researchers with Barts Health NHS Trust and UCL Partners, and features in the following news articles:

 UCL: New rehabilitation app to aid recovery of COVID-19 ‘long-haulers’

inews: Long Covid: Digital treatment programme rolled out in hospitals to help patients with chronic illness

NHS Barts Health: New rehabilitation app to aid recovery of Covid-19


Find out about all the research taking place across our nine departments on our dedicated Covid site.

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 SPCR Funded COVID-19 research updates

The SPCR ran a rapid response funding round this time last year, to better understand the virus, its epidemiology, its management, and its consequences for health care delivery. 

Rapid COVID-19 Intelligence to improve primary care response (RAPCI)

The University of Bristol's RAPCI trial has drawn public attention for the summary reports and publications highlighting the primary care response to the pandemic. The project identified the changing demands on GP practices across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire during the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers investigated the common challenges and innovative solutions that practices came up with. The media releases and news can be found on the RAPCI website: Rapid COVID-19 Intelligence to improve primary care response (RAPCI). (Murphy, Horwood, Salisbury, MacLeod, Denholm). 

Case Study: Coping with the rapid shift to remote GP consultations during the coronavirus pandemic

ACE- Inhibitors/Angiotensin Receptor Blockers and risk of death for people infected with COVID-19

Researchers investigated the use of ACE-Inhibitors and the risk of death for people infected with COVID-19. The research aimed to study the link between taking ACE-I/ARB medications and the risk of death in people infected with COVID-19. View the SPCR case study ACE-Inhibitors/Angiotensin Receptor Blockers and risk of death for people infected with COVID-19.

Team: Hajira Dambha-Miller, Simon de Lusignan, Julia Hippisley-Cox, Paul Little, Simon J Griffin, Ali Albasri, Beth Stuart, William Hinton.


The RAPTOR C19 study assesses the accuracy of different rapid tests for COVID-19 for patients in the community. The study, working across 26 GP surgeries and community 'hot hubs', aims to determine whether rapid tests, which give results within minutes/hours, are as accurate as standard laboratory tests. RAPTOR C19 is part of the CONDOR diagnostic evaluation platform which is accelerating how quickly COVID-19 diagnostics make it into real-world use. Partners of the platform include Manchester NHS Foundation Trust's Diagnostic Technology Accelerator (DiTA), and NIHR MedTech and In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operatives (MICs) based in Oxford, Leeds, London and Newcastle.

Team: Brian, Nicholson, Richard Hobbs, Simon de Lusignan, Uy Hoang, Filipa Fereira, Alex Deeks, Harshana Liyananga, Gail Hayward, Philip Turner, Joseph Lee, Tom Fanshawe and Jason Oke.

LOngitudinal study of behaviours, risk factors, and effects of COVID-19 in the Community (LOCC)

LOngitudinal study of behaviours, risk factors, and effects of COVID-19 in the Community (LOCC) produced rapid analyses from information collected from people in the community who do, and do not, have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. This will help policymakers, clinicians and the public make more informed decisions about how best to manage the ongoing pandemic clinically, psychologically and socially. 

Team: Nick Francis (PI), Merlin Willcox, Paul Little, Alastair Hay, Michael Moore, Mark Lown, Beth Stuart, Jennifer Bostock, Judy Chatwin, Adam Geraghty, Lucy Yardley.

Optimising the telephone management of people affected or at risk of COVID-19 infection via NHS111 services

Optimising the telephone management of people affected or at risk of COVID-19 infection via NHS 111 services aims to learn how the NHS 111 are currently advising the public about what to do about coronavirus and inform how they can best deliver services in the future.

Team: Rebecca Barnes, Geraldine Leydon, Catherine Pope, Catherine Woods, Jennie Hayes, Lydia Holt, Charlotte Albury

Using linked primary care and viral surveillance data to develop risk stratification models to inform management of severe COVID19 

Researchers have joined routine health data recorded by GP surgeries to the records of the most severely ill COVID19 patients who have been admitted to hospital intensive care units. Researchers were then able to find out which existing health problems, drug treatments, or other factors (for example, smoking or pregnancy) are most strongly associated with people being admitted to intensive care or dying as a complication of COVID19. 

Team: Rupert Payne, Evan Kontopantelis, Jonathan Mant, Jennifer Denholm, Jennifer Cooper,Harriet Forbes, Annie Herbert, Peter Tammes

COVID-19: Understanding which patients are at the greatest risk of harm

Media coverage:


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