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Research trial for COVID-19 nursing care opens at Guy's and St Thomas'


Posted on Tuesday 31 August 2021
20210831-Fiona Hibberts

Fiona Hibberts

Guy’s and St Thomas’ is taking part in a trial examining nursing care of patients with COVID-19. Experts say the trial could change nursing care for COVID-19 patients, and the entire future of nursing care.

The Trust is taking part in the COVID-NURSE trial, which is believed to be the first and only robust research study on nursing care for COVID-19. It involves a set of new guidelines for nurses looking after COVID-19 patients. The guidelines were developed by the University of Exeter, with input from nurses, academics and patients who had COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic.

Hospitals taking part in the trial are randomly assigned to continue with standard nursing care, or to adopt the new guidelines into nursing practice. The team leading the trial hope it will provide the evidence to guide nursing care and show how the experiences of nurses and patients can influence that care. They hope this will help to share innovations across other hospitals both nationally and internationally.

In order to avoid bias in the trial, the full clinical guidance has not been published. The study team have committed to publishing the full materials and training when the trial has concluded.

Fiona Hibberts, Head of the Nightingale Academy and consultant nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’, is leading the study at the Trust. She said: “At such a difficult and challenging time, our ward teams have embraced the study and appreciate the importance of it. They want to be part of designing nursing care and supporting it with the best possible evidence. A huge thank you to them for supporting the trial.”

Avey Bhatia, Chief Nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “Over the course of the pandemic, nurses have gone over and above to care for patients, and we’ve seen just how vital nursing is. The COVID-NURSE trial is revolutionary for a number of reasons. It’s nurse-led research, which we want to see more of. It is also an intervention that has been developed with patients, which is really powerful.

“We’re excited as a Trust to be taking part in this study. We think by bringing together nurses and patients to lead research, this trial has the potential to go beyond the care that we give to COVID-19 patients. The lessons we learn from this work could change the future of nursing, by showing us how we can learn from patients and gather robust evidence on how nursing improves patient care.”

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