24 April 2020
NIHR ARC West is leading the co-ordination of the local applied research community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Early on in the crisis, Associate Professor Jeremy Horwood, an ARC West team lead, was approached by Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG). They wanted researchers to do rapid evidence reviews and analysis of routine data to help inform decision-making and to support their strategic response to COVID-19.
Working with ARC Manager Lara Edwards and the ARC West admin team, a pool of over 70 volunteer researchers was quickly assembled to respond to requests for help. The researchers are from across the NIHR infrastructure in the West of England and the region’s universities, as well as drawing on expertise from other Applied Research Collaborations in other parts of the country. This offer of help has been extended to all CCGs and local authorities across ARC West’s geography.
The reports are published on the ARC West website so that they are available nationally and internationally for others to use in planning their response to COVID-19.
“The rapid spread of COVID-19 has meant that the NHS and local authorities have had to quickly adapt their services. To enable them to do this, it is vital that they have access to the best evidence, including from other countries that have successfully responded to the pandemic.
“It’s fantastic that so many researchers from UWE, University of Bristol’s Medical School and the University of Bath have signed up to help with rapid evidence and evaluation support to help inform the local, national and international COVID-19 response.”
The research teams who have responded to the call include: