New treatment offered to vulnerable Covid patients for the first time in Derbyshire

Vulnerable patients in Derbyshire are being offered a new treatment by DHU Health Care to reduce the risk of complications for people with COVID-19.
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Sotrovimab, a neutralising monoclonal antibody (nMAB), can be given to reduce the risk of serious illness that can arise amongst vulnerable people testing positive for Covid-19.

It’s the first time the medication, provided at two DHU Health Care sites, has been widely offered to patients in Derbyshire.

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Kirsty Osborn is Deputy Director for Urgent Care at DHU Health Care, she said: “It’s fantastic news for our patients and another weapon we have in the fight against this pandemic. We will use it for those patients returning a positive PCR test who have underlying health conditions that could put them at risk of hospital admission.

Kirsty Osborn and Emma HarrisonKirsty Osborn and Emma Harrison
Kirsty Osborn and Emma Harrison

“A member of our Urgent and Emergency Care Team will identify and contact patients who we feel meet that criteria and discuss the possibility of them being offered a treatment to enable them to make an informed choice. The treatment needs to be provided within five days of a positive PCR and symptoms. It’s a significant step towards reducing the number of anticipated hospitalisations at a key time in the country’s fight against Covid-19.”

The treatment is currently being provided at DHU sites within Derby Urgent Treatment Centre and Ashgate Manor in Chesterfield, only by referral, following a positive PCR test. It is administered intravenously for antibody treatment and in tablet form as an antiviral medication.

Emma Harrison, from Chesterfield, has Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis, was shielding from Covid-19 during the various lockdowns and is immunosuppressed so can’t build up her own antibodies. She received the antibody treatment at Ashgate Manor after a positive PCR test.

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Emma said: “Because of my condition, my Specialist Nurse was kept informed in case I ever tested positive and developed symptoms. I was registered as a priority for this treatment, contacted very early to assess my suitability and booked in the following day for treatment.

“Kirsty administered the treatment and she was fantastic, she made it as comfortable and reassuring as possible, explaining exactly what was happening and what to do if I had any side effects. I did experience some sickness so contacted 111 who booked me an Out Of Hours GP appointment very quickly. I was prescribed some anti-sickness tablets and that

took care of my symptoms.

“There was the potential for me to be very ill with Covid and end up in hospital due to my condition but the symptoms subsided very quickly after this treatment. I have been vaccinated and boosted but this is another way of ensuring that I don’t become seriously ill and I’m grateful that it’s ready and available so quickly for people like me.”

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Kirsty added: “This is not a substitute for vaccinations. We would still encourage everybody who hasn’t already done so to book their vaccination as soon as possible. It remains the best way of putting up a barrier against Covid-19 for you and those around you. But for those who do become infected and are vulnerable, these treatments will help reduce symptoms, speed up recovery times and could mean fewer people are admitted to hospital.”