Staff at Lister Hospital have given potentially life-saving treatments to more than 300 people who are most at risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19.
The antibody and antiviral treatments are being offered to high-risk patients who have tested positive for the virus, to reduce the chances of them needing hospital care.
East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs Lister, started to provide the treatment in September to suitable inpatients at the Stevenage hospital, and since December this has been expanded to those in the community.
Eligible patients have received a letter from the NHS explaining who they should contact if they test positive for Covid-19, so that they can rapidly access the treatment they need.
In some cases this means taking an antiviral medicine at home, while for other patients they are asked to come into hospital for an infusion of monoclonal antibodies – which have been proven to lessen the chances of them being admitted to hospital due to Covid-19.
To date, staff have assessed more than 800 referrals and treated more than 300 eligible patients.
Liz Ward is one of the patients to benefit so far – visiting Lister in January for her infusion.
Afterwards, she posted on Twitter: “To the people who invented monoclonal antibodies and the people who worked out that it might help with Covid-19, and to NHS England and the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust who got this terrified, brittle, deteriorating asthmatic in for an infusion this morning – I am so, so grateful.”
The Trust’s medical director, Dr Michael Chilvers, said: “Delivering this potentially life-saving treatment to our most at risk patients has been a huge team effort – from admin, data and digital colleagues to doctors, nurses and pharmacists.
“I am immensely proud that we have been able to offer these new treatments during such a busy time, and it is fantastic that – with the help of science and research – we can help prevent those who are at most of risk of being seriously ill from Covid-19 from needing hospital care. Treatments like these, alongside vaccination, give me great hope for the future.”
For more information about the treatments and who can have them, please visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/treatments-for-coronavirus.