CTU Response to COVID

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, research at the CTU came to a standstill, with patients not being able to attend clinics, health professionals delivering research being directed to help the influx of COVID patients in hospitals and CTU staff being furloughed. Even though research was not able to be carried out as usual, Keele CTU got stuck in with helping to deliver COVID-19 research and also started to adapt how it conducted its own studies. Below is some more information about what we have been doing over the past 12 months.

During the pandemic, Keele CTU staff were working from home and so unable to mail out to or receive questionnaires from patients. A small team developed a way for patients to continue participating in research and for data to be collected by adapting paper questionnaires to online versions.

In this video, Jo Smith Database Interface Manager, explains what Keele Health Survey is and the process of developing online questionnaires, as well as the feedback we received from patients and the pros and cons of using online surveys.



REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT-2)

Keele University joined a key national programme in June 2020 to evaluate pioneering diagnostic tests for the coronavirus which helped to determine how many people have been infected with the COVID-19 virus. The second part of the programme called REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT-2), led by Imperial College London helped to shape COVID-19 testing including how we can now test ourselves at home using self-testing kits.

For the latest findings from the REACT project click here


Keele CTU is supporting the National Institute for Health Research’s regional site 12-month study to test the effectiveness of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

The study, hosted by the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) in Staffordshire, is testing the safety and effectiveness of the investigational vaccine, developed by US biotechnology company Novavax, across a wide range of people including those from a variety of age groups and backgrounds.

The trials recruited 500 volunteers who took part at Cheadle Hospital.

Here is what one of the national participants thought about taking part in the study. 

Initial findings of the study showed the vaccine to be 89.3% effective in preventing coronavirus in participants. For more information about the findings of the trial click here.

A young scientist has published his first academic journal paper at the age of just 14, with the help of researchers from Keele University’s School of Medicine.

Oliver Lawton, a pupil at St Joseph’s College in Stoke-on-Trent, is the lead author of a new paper published in the BMJ Paediatrics Open journal, investigating the ways young people access information on the Covid-19 pandemic.

You can read more about Oliver's SOCIAL study here