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Peterborough hospitals lead way in helping patients fight Covid-19

A new drug therapy to help those at the highest risk from Covid-19 infection has been offered to the first patients in a specialist clinic being run by North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust.
Peterborough city hospital
Peterborough City Hospital. Photo: John Baker

The Covid Medicine Delivery Unit (CMDU) started running at the City Care Centre, Peterborough, on December 23 administering Sotrovimab, a new therapy which had only been approved for use days earlier.

The service has now switched to be delivered from Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

The clinic provides a one-off 50ml infusion of antibodies to clinically-vulnerable patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are within the first five days of infection.

Dr Kanchan Rege, Chief Medical Officer at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Peterborough City, Hinchingbrooke and Stamford Hospitals, said: “At the time we set up our clinic, it was the only one to do so in Cambridgeshire. Cambridge University Hospitals is now assisting us, but it has been a real coup for us to commence the clinic and support some of our most vulnerable patients.

“The type of patients who are benefiting from this therapy include those on immunosuppressants or chemotherapy, in other words, people who require extra help to defend themselves against COVID-19.

“While this is a relatively small patient group, it is really important for us to be able to help them avoid developing complications and needing admission to hospital.

“I’d like to thank all the team involved in setting up the clinic at a time when our hospitals have also been under pressure.”

Kelly Irvine, 32, from Peakirk near Peterborough was the first patient to receive the infusion of Sotrovimab after testing positive for COVID-19 a few days before attending the clinic. As a result, she was able to enjoy a symptom-free Christmas.

Kelly is classed as a more vulnerable patient as she has a form of arthritis and takes immunosuppressants to combat the condition.

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Kelly Irvine, the first patient in the Covid Medicine Delivery Unit, receives her infusion overseen by Deputy Charge Nurse Binu Kunjukunju. Supplied

She said: “My husband tested positive a few days before me and I started to get a sore throat and a feeling similar to a cold. There is always a worry I could become more poorly due to my condition so I was relieved to know I could have this treatment. The opening of the clinic was really good timing for me.

“The infusion was quick and the staff in the clinic were really friendly. By the second day post infusion I felt back to normal and have been fine since. For people with health issues that make them more vulnerable, it is great to have this as a treatment option.”