CHESHIRE East residents with coronavirus symptoms have the chance to take part in a clinical trial of potential treatments that can be taken at home.

The Platform Randomised trial of Interventions against Covid-19 in older people (PRINCIPLE) trial is testing pre-existing drugs with older patients in the community who show signs of the disease.

It aims to slow or halt the progression of Covid-19 and prevent the need for hospital admission.

The trial has been running in Greater Manchester since April.

However, with the infection rate in the region showing a major spike in late July and into August, the National Institute for Health Research in Greater Manchester is keen to get more people recruited onto the trial as part of the effort to identify medicines that help people with Covid-19 symptoms get better quickly.

PRINCIPLE is the first trial of Covid-19 treatments to take place in primary care, and one of the UK government’s national priority platform trials on the disease.

Fifty GP practices across Greater Manchester and East Cheshire are recruiting people onto the trial.

Participants must be aged 50 and over with underlying health conditions, or people aged over 65 regardless of underlying health conditions.

In addition to this the trial is also offering participants the opportunity to sign up online.

This means irrespective of which GP surgery they are registered with, older people with coronavirus symptoms can now pre-screen for the trial at home via an online questionnaire to see whether they can be included.

PRINCIPLE is trialling low-risk treatments recommended by an expert panel advising the Chief Medical Officer for England.

The effectiveness of these treatments will be compared to the current best available care.

Angela Houghton-Cole took part in PRINCIPLE after she developed Covid-19 symptoms in April.

The 52-year-old said: “My GP sent me all the information and I was able to talk it over with my husband and mum before making my decision.

“I felt if I could contribute towards research that will help us better understand this awful virus and possibly help other people in the future it was something I wanted to be part of.”

Winsford Guardian:

Dr Sheila McCorkindale

Dr Sheila McCorkindale said: “The recent increase in the number of Covid-19 infections in Greater Manchester highlights the ongoing need for Covid-19 research.

“We can all help fight the virus by supporting clinical research and many thanks to everyone who's already contributed.

“The PRINCIPLE clinical trial aims to find treatments that can help older people with Covid-19 symptoms get better quickly and stop them needing to go to hospital.”