blank
Connect with us

Coronavirus

Swansea Bay’s “small but mighty” research and development team helps pave the way for living with Covid

Published

on

Two years on from the first national lockdown we are in a far better position to understand, help prevent and treat Covid thanks to the outstanding and ground-breaking efforts of scientists and researchers from around the world.

Amongst those who have given us all hope that we can learn to live with Covid is Swansea Bay’s research and delivery team.

Advertisement

Its work has now been recognised by a nomination for a St David Award for its ‘significant’ role in combating the virus.

The team has been included in the Innovation, Science and Technology category of the awards, which recognise the extraordinary achievements of people from across Wales.

The nominees were put forward by the public, with the finalists and winners selected by the First Minister and his advisers.

Swansea Bay’s small team of research nurses, research officers and research assistants, based across the health board, worked together to support clinical teams with research trials to help determine effective lifesaving treatments, many of which have shown to be vital in the fight against Covid-19.

The team also supported and recruited patients into other studies, which have helped to understand the long-term health outcomes for patients with Covid 19.

Advertisement

Elaine Brinkworth, research nurse team leader, praised the “tenacity and resilience” of the team.

She said: “When we found out we had been shortlisted for a St David Award, we were absolutely thrilled and so grateful that the team’s hard work had been recognised.

“The team has done everything that has been asked of them. They have been adaptable and uncomplaining throughout some of the most chaotic moments of the last two years.

“Although our team has been shortlisted for the award, it is important to remember that the delivery of a clinical trial requires a multi-disciplinary team approach.

“We would like to thank all the clinicians and clinical areas that have supported our studies, along with pharmacy and all other supporting departments.

Advertisement

“Most importantly we would like to thank the patients of Swansea Bay University Health Board, who have either considered or participated in a clinical trial. Without the patients’ involvement none of the above would have been possible.”

The Welsh Government said that, during the pandemic, the team focussed on urgent public health trials as a priority.

Evidence from these trials ultimately shaped the advice provided by the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) to UK governments.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The team adapted to the rapid pace of change to ensure that research continued during such a pressured time for health boards.

“Their studies provided an evidence base for the discovery of new treatment options, which increased the survival rate of Covid-19 patients as a result.

Advertisement

“Additional treatment options were made available for patients via their participation in various research trials and some of these treatments have since become standard of care.

“They also contributed to the GenOMICC trial, which provided important genetic evidence – identifying the increased risk to BAME members of the population early on in the pandemic.

“Swansea Bay was amongst the top three recruiting sites in UK for this study.

“The dedication of the team made a significant contribution to the health and care of citizens during the Covid-19 pandemic, with some excellent results, and the support they have consistently demonstrated towards each other has been exemplary.”

Members of the research team on Microsoft Teams (Image: Swansea bay NHS)

The research team works closely Health and Care Research Wales eco-system and receives funding from Welsh Government.

Dr Nicola Williams, Director of Support and Delivery at Health and Care Research Wales said: “These past two years have been extremely challenging for all research teams across Wales who have contributed to the urgent public health studies.

Advertisement

“The team at Swansea are small but mighty and everyone at Health and Care Research Wales is so proud of their nomination.

“Every member of the team has gone, and continues to go, above and beyond and regardless of the outcome I’m so pleased their hard work has been recognised nationally.”

Emma Woollett, Chair of Swansea Bay, said: “I am delighted that our Swansea Bay team of researchers has been nominated, the only health board team to have done so. I wish them all success at the ceremony in April.”

Swansea Bay UHB CEO, Mark Hackett, said: “I am really pleased to see this nomination

“Research and development is an important part of the responsibilities of the health board and we see this as creating and sustaining us as an organisation that learns, adapts and develops new ways of delivering care to patients.”

Advertisement

The 9th St David Awards Ceremony will be held at the Royal College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, on Thursday evening, 7th April, with all finalists being honoured on the night and the winners announced.

Lead image: Members of Swansea Bay NHS’s team (left to right) Mark Baker, Sharon Storton, Marie Williams, Debra Evans (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Coronavirus

Face coverings retained in health and social care settings

Published

on

By

First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed the legal requirement to wear a face covering in health and care settings will remain in place.

Speaking after the latest three-week review of the coronavirus regulations, the First Minister said the public health situation was improving following the recent spike in cases caused by the BA.2 sub-type of omicron.

Advertisement

But Covid case rates remain high so maintaining the use of face coverings in health and care settings will help to protect to some of the most vulnerable people in society, staff and visitors.

The First Minister also urged everyone to continue to take measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus by following a set of simple steps to protect one another and keep Wales safe.

These include self-isolating if ill or testing positive for Covid-19; wearing a face covering in crowded indoor places, meeting outdoors wherever possible; keeping indoor areas well ventilated and washing hands regularly.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The pandemic isn’t over but we are seeing encouraging signs the recent high levels of infections across Wales are falling.

“There are steps we can all take to protect ourselves while coronavirus is still circulating and reduce the spread of the virus even further. This is particularly true in places where some of the most vulnerable people in society are being treated and live, which is why we will retain the legal requirement to wear face coverings in health and social care settings.

Advertisement

“More generally, ensuring you are up-to-date with your Covid vaccinations and spring booster – if you are eligible – is really important. If you have Covid symptoms or test positive, please stay at home and help break the chain of transmission.

“Together, we can carry on keeping each other safe and keeping Wales safe.”

The next three-weekly review of coronavirus regulations will be carried out by 26 May.

Continue Reading

Coronavirus

Schools’ Covid guidance aligned to businesses and other workplaces

Published

on

By

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, has announced that Covid-19 measures for schools in Wales will be brought into line with guidance for businesses and other organisations.

The Welsh Government has written to schools in Wales this morning to inform them of the changes.

Advertisement

Since September last year, schools have applied measures to stop the spread of Coronavirus according to local circumstances, based on the Local Covid-19 infection control decision framework for schools. Schools will no longer be advised to use the framework.

The change is in line with the Welsh Government’s long-term Covid-19 transition from pandemic to endemic. The risk from coronavirus is now considered in the same context as other communicable diseases, such as flu.

The First Minister has announced that the remaining coronavirus restrictions will be removed from 9 May, if the public health situation remained stable. The changes to the guidance for schools will also come into effect from 9 May.

Schools and other education settings will continue to be advised to work with local authorities and public health advisors to ensure that measures remain appropriate and proportionate and reflect local risks and circumstances.

A checklist will be provided to support schools and settings in considering which control measures remain proportionate. Special schools will continue to follow the advice for children and young people with higher clinical risk and clinically extremely vulnerable adults.

Advertisement

Speaking at the Welsh Government’s weekly press briefing, Jeremy Miles said: “In line with the wider public health guidance published at the last three-week review, we have today written to headteachers to signpost the impending changes to our advice for schools, which reflect the move from pandemic to endemic. This will ensure school guidance is more closely aligned with the rest of society.

“We all know that Covid-19 has not gone way. It remains vitally important we reduce the spread of the virus where we can – this includes, for example, following self-isolation guidance, and for education settings to continue to undertake robust risk assessments.”

Continue Reading

Coronavirus

Health board extends shuttle bus between Llanelli and COVID vaccination centre

Published

on

By

Hywel Dda University Health Board (HDUHB) has extended the free shuttle bus service between Llanelli town centre and the mass vaccination centre in Dafen to help people access their COVID-19 vaccination as easily as possible.

The shuttle bus, provided by Dolen Teifi, will continue to run between 10.30am to 4.40pm, seven days a week – with no service at 12.00pm from town or at 12.15pm from the mass vaccination centre to allow the drivers a lunch break.

Advertisement

People can board the shuttle bus on the hour and at half-past the hour at Church Street, outside Llanelli Magistrates Court.

The shuttle bus will leave the mass vaccination centre quarter past and quarter to the hour, returning to the town centre and dropping passengers off opposite Llanelli library.

Bethan Lewis, Interim Assistant Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda UHB, said: “We need as many people as possible attending their COVID-19 vaccine appointments, or dropping in if eligible.

“This shuttle bus service is one of many additional resources and services being put in place across the Hywel Dda region to help support more people to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. I am pleased the shuttle bus service has been extended to help people reliant on public transport to access their COVID-19 vaccine.”

On 21 February 2022, the JCVI published a statement, recommending an additional spring booster.

Advertisement

Strict COVID-19 safety measures are in place to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers on this service, including wearing face coverings unless medically exempt.

A maximum of 14 passengers are allowed per journey with a screen in place between driver and passengers.

The health board say that passengers should only use this service if they are fit and well on the day.

They add that before travelling without an appointment to Dafen mass vaccination centre, people should check the health board’s website for up-to-date information such as vaccine eligibility and drop-in opening times.

(Lead image: Hywel Dda NHS)

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News