Funding for Long-Covid study in Bristol

Southmead Hospital Charity

Ground-breaking research in to Long-Covid has been made possible with NHS Charities Together funding.

We awarded £15,000 seed-funding to Southmead Hospital Charity which, when added to £100,499 of donations to the charity, made the study into the long-term effects of the virus a reality. The research at North Bristol NHS Trust is leading the way in understanding the long-term effects of the virus.

Dr Arnold set up the DISCOVER study at the start of the pandemic and recruited a cohort of 300 patients admitted to hospital with Covid-19, finding 74% recorded ongoing symptoms even three months on. The study is also researching therapies that may support patients in their recovery, including fatigue management treatments and intensive research into sleep difficulties.

“We’re incredibly grateful to NHS Charities Together and Southmead Hospital Charity, whose support means we can now work to understand why this happens…”

Dr David Arnold, who leads on the Long-Covid research study
Dr David Arnold ©Barbara Evripidou

Dr David Arnold, who leads on the Long-Covid research study, said:

Currently very little is known about Long-Covid and its long-lasting symptoms. What we do know from our previous studies is that the symptoms people live with every day are wide-ranging in both their type and their severity.

“We’re incredibly grateful to NHS Charities Together and Southmead Hospital Charity, whose support means we can now work to understand why this happens and if there are any therapies to help people living with Long-Covid every day.”

As the first cohort published in the UK, the group has now been studied for the longest time meaning that the research at North Bristol NHS Trust is leading the way in understanding the long-term effects of the virus.

Working in partnership with Yale University, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Bristol, the next stage of the global project aims to understand how ‘overactive’ immunity may be leading to extended activation of T-cells (the white blood cells which work in several different ways to help protect us from diseases like Covid-19), months after they would be expected to return to normal.

The study is also researching therapies that may support patients in their recovery, including fatigue management treatments and intensive research into sleep difficulties.