Making a difference

Fundamentally, health research takes place to improve patient care through the development of new treatments and ways of providing patient services – something that we’re passionate about and never lose sight of.

SYMBAD trial results

HWHCT took part in this trial so we were really pleased to receive these results at the end of October 2021. The main results have been published in the Lancet: but please see below for the summary outcomes:

‘In summary we found that there was no benefit in taking mirtazapine compared with placebo, there was even the possibility of harm with a marginally higher rate of mortality in the mirtazapine group. The clear conclusion from the data is that they do not support the use of mirtazapine as a treatment for agitation in dementia. Positively there was clear recovery in those that participated in both the placebo and the mirtazapine group. This means that the best thing to do clinically may be to actively monitor agitation while carrying out treatment as usual, rather than jumping to use another medication in all but the most serious of cases.


This is a result that has important implications to clinical practice, and we hope that you will join with us in disseminating the findings as widely as possible. There has been a press release: Research news - Common antidepressant should no longer be used to treat people with dementia - University of Exeter by the University of Plymouth and the team would be happy to work with your local institutions and Trusts should you wish to provide further public information. Alzheimer’s Research UK has also published an article: Antidepressant drug doesn’t improve agitation in dementia trial - Alzheimer's Research UK (

HUGE thanks to everyone who was involved in this study at HWHCT.


PrEP Impact Trial – A pragmatic health technology assessment and implementation

PrEP (HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) is a medicine for HIV negative people and it can reduce the risk of catching HIV when taken as instructed. However this is currently not available through the NHS.

PrEP is made up of two drugs, Tenofovir and Emtricitabine. Both these drugs have been widely used for many years to treat HIV and the drug has been used by several thousands of HIV negative people worldwide to reduce the risk of HIV.

To plan a PrEP programme in England, NHS England and Local Authorities carried out research to find out:

  • How many people attending sexual health clinics need PrEP?
  • How many of these start PrEP?
  • How long do they need PrEP for?

In this Trust the study ran across the 3 Sexual Health Services; Arrowside, John Anthony Centre and Hereford and 64 patients were recruited. All participants in this study had access to PrEP.

This study has now closed but we will share the outcomes when they are published later this year. A huge thank you to everyone who was involved.


6-month neurological and psychiatric outcomes in 236,379 survivors of COVID-19: a retrospective cohort study using electronic health records

Read study outcomes here. March 2021

Ref: Worcestershire Health Library


Cocoa Flavanols Improve Vascular Responses to Acute Mental Stress in Young Healthy Adults

Read study outcomes here. March 2021

Ref: Worcestershire Health Library


Assistive technology and telecare to maintain independent living at home for people with dementia: the ATTILA RCT

Read study outcomes here. March 2021

Ref: Worcestershire Health Library


Trial closes recruitment to colchicine treatment for patients hospitalised with COVID-19

Read study outcomes here. March 2021


REACT-1: real-time assessment of community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) during March 2021.

Read study outcomes here. March 2021


ISARIC (Internatioanl Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium) Clinical Charachterisation Protocol (CCP) for Severe Emerging Infection) logo ISARIC (International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium) Clinical Characterisation Protocol (CCP) for Severe Emerging Infection

The Clinical Characterisation Protocol (CCP) for Severe Emerging Infection was developed by the ISARIC some years ago in response to other pandemics. The study was set up as a ‘sleeping’ pre-pandemics study, in readiness for a possible future pandemic. In mid-January 2020, the protocol was activated so that it could recruit the early cases of Covid-19 being admitted to hospitals.

Data has been and continues to be collected from the routine health records of patients admitted to hospital who have tested positive for COVID-19 to help inform us about the disease to SAGE and help government policy makers.

This work is ongoing but read outcomes so far here.

Cultural Adaptations in Clinical InteractiONs (CoACtION): a multi-site comparative study to assess what cultural adaptations are made by clinicians in different settings

Read study outcomes here. May 2020


The RECOVERY trial – June 2021

The RECOVERY trial was established as a randomised clinical trial to test a range of potential treatments for COVID-19. Some of the Research team here helped support the Acute with the above study last year and it was great to see an update about it a few months ago.

The study has shown how a potent intravenous infusion of antibodies neutralised the virus by binding to the virus to stop it infecting cells and replicating. In the trial, which included nearly 10,000 UK hospital patients, it found that:

  • it could help 1 in 3 of those in hospital with severe Covid
  • greatly reduced the risk of death
  • for every 100 patients treated, it would save 6 lives
  • reduced the length of hospital stay by an average of 4 days
  • significantly reduced the likelihood of needing a ventilator to breath