Covid-19 research at ESHT

Covid-19 is a new illness that can affect lungs and airways. As it is a new disease we need to find out as much as we can about it, as soon as possible. Research allows us to answer questions about Covid-19.

By gathering information about a disease we can find ways of diagnosing it faster and better ways of looking after and treating people with the disease.

Why do we need research into Covid-19?

At the beginning of the pandemic, there was no established treatment for Covid-19. But due to the research since then there is some early evidence that certain licensed drugs for other diseases help in improve outcomes in Covid-19 patients. Hence these drugs are being used to treat some of the Covid-19 patients in some of these studies (called interventional studies). Other ‘observational’ studies don’t alter treatment but collect blood samples and information about the patient to learn more about Covid-19. Such studies have no added risk, do not bring immediate benefit now, but will help doctors and scientists to better understand Covid-19.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is currently involved in a number of Covid-19 research studies. Many of these are categorised as an ‘Urgent Public Health Research’ studies by the Department of Health and Social Care.


This national clinical trial aims to identify treatments that may be beneficial for people hospitalised with suspected or confirmed Covid-19.

Local Principal Investigator – Dr Andrew Marshall, Consultant Cardiologist

This study aims to find the genes that cause susceptibility to Covid-19 in critical care patients.

Local Principal Investigator – Dr Judith Highgate, Consultant ICU and Anaesthetics

An Observational study of Recovery from critical illness in the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Local Principal Investigator – Dr Judith Highgate, Consultant ICU and Anaesthetics

The UK Obstentrics Surveillance System (UKOSS) is collecting data from pregnant women who have a COVID-19 diagnosis to help understand more about how the virus may affect women and infants.

Local Principal Investigator – Liz Still, Head of Research

There are also studies taking place on apps such as:

that most adults can take part in from our colleagues at Kings College London and Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals