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Primary Care, CRN North West London 

In the UK we are now at this extremely concerning time, with a record number of COVID-19 infections and deaths, hospitals under immense pressure, and another current national lockdown.

It is now absolutely imperative that we find treatments in the earlier stages of COVID-19 disease that can alter the course of the illness and improve outcomes, hospitalisations and deaths. No such treatments in the community have yet been found, so they need to be urgently trialled and researched - only Primary Care research can do this.

This is why it is now crucial that all clinicians seeing patients with the early symptoms of COVID-19 offer those eligible the chance to be part of a research trial. Please see Urgent Public Health studies below.


Urgent Public Health COVID-19 Studies

1) The PRINCIPLE trial

This study is looking at treatments in primary care and the community. At the moment the treatment arms include: inhaled Budesonide and treatment as normal. More treatment arms are soon to be added.

Currently in North West London, recruitment to PRINCIPLE has unfortunately been very slow: out of the 120 sites open, only 48 have recruited, and the number of recruits is 63. Considering the extent and severity of the pandemic, this is a very small number.

It could not be easier to refer a patient to the PRINCIPLE study. If you speak to a patient over 50 who has early COVID-19 symptoms, or has had a positive test in the last 14 days, all you have to do is text them the PRINCIPLE website where they can join the study themselves.

The website is:


2) The RECAP study

All that is required for this study is to use the North West London COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Templates when consulting patients with signs or symptoms of the infection (over the age of 18), either remotely or face to face. When using the template please click on the RECAP study consent box and add the CPMS number: 45890.

Please use the RECAP COVID-19 templates when you assess patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 - that is all you have to do.


When you seen patients with COVID-19 symptoms, or confirmed infection, please think about about the PRINCIPLE study regarding treatment research, and the RECAP study about producing a validated COVID-19 risk score.


If your practice is interested in participating in this trial please email:

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The PRINCIPLE trial platform is a national priority trial to find treatments for COVID-19. It is now a country-wide trial, and the only national priority platform trial in primary care. 

The trial is designed to test a range of treatments in the community, with treatment arms that can be stopped, replaced or added.

PRINCIPLE is currently evaluating usual care alone versus usual care plus azithromycin; or usual care plus doxycycline. Azithromycin is a commonly used antibiotic that is anti-inflammatory, treats community-acquired pneumonia and bacterial chest infections, and has antiviral properties. Doxycycline is another commonly used antibiotic.

The trial is being run by the University of Oxford and is funded by UK Research and Innovation and the Department for Health and Social Care through the National Institute for Health Research.

Aim of this trial: 

We aim to find treatments for COVID-19 for people in the community who are at higher risk of complications. We want to find medicines that can help people get better quickly and stop them needing to go to hospital.

More details are at :

If your practice is interested in participating in this trial please email:


Research Project

The Hammersmith and Fulham GP Federation are working together with the Clinical Research Network (CRN), and The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to conduct studies/research within Hammersmith and Fulham GP practices. The NIHR fund health care research and translate discoveries into practical products, treatments, devices and procedures, involving patients and the public in all our work. 


To improve the health and wealth of the nation through research.


To provide a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals working in world-class facilities, conducting leading-edge research focused on the needs of patients and the public.


  • Establish the NHS as an internationally recognised centre of research excellence
  • Attract, develop and retain the best research professionals to conduct people-based research
  • Commission research focused on improving health and social care
  • Strengthen and streamline systems for research management and governance
  • Increase the opportunities for patients and the public to participate in, and benefit from, research
  • Promote and protect the interests of patients and the public in health research
  • Drive faster translation of scientific discoveries into tangible benefits for patients
  • Maximise the research potential of the NHS to contribute to the economic growth of the country through the life sciences industry
  • At as sound custodians of public money for the public good

Patient benefits

Research programme aims to have an impact on the health and wellbeing of patients and users of the NHS and social care. 

For some research studies there are clear outcomes which will benefit patients, often demonstrated by clinical trials which may show a particular intervention is more effective than current treatment options. Ideally this leads to a roll out in the NHS for a wider patient benefit and informs guidelines to influence future practice.

The pathway to patient benefit is not always as straightforward or immediate, and the programme funds a broad range of research which ultimately leads to patient benefit, be it directly or indirectly.

For more information please email