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Despite the NHS, and our trust, being placed under massive strain by the Covid-19 pandemic, the professionalism and dedication of all who work in it never ceases to amaze me and is very humbling.

Tuesday, 11 May, 2021
Despite the NHS, and our trust, being placed under massive strain by the Covid-19 pandemic, the professionalism and dedication of all who work in it never ceases to amaze me and is very humbling.

John Steer, one of our respiratory doctors tells us more about his involvement in a Covid-19 vaccine trial, why he loves his job and how the last 12 months has impacted on him.

I have been a doctor since 2003 and have worked as a consultant since 2014. I thoroughly enjoy the challenge and variety that medicine offers. You never stop learning and every day is different. Both are important to me.

I work across different Northumbria Healthcare hospital sites as a consultant respiratory doctor looking after people with lung problems. Thinking about things being different, the significant changes we have had to make over the last year as a result of Covid-19 have been hard but very rewarding. I am very lucky to working with an amazingly talented and resilient team.

In addition to looking after the most unwell patients with Covid-19 admitted to our hospitals, I am one of the consultants helping to run our post Covid-19 clinics. This means I am able to help patients across the full range of health problems that this awful disease causes. From patients who are critically ill to those experiencing post-Covid syndrome, otherwise known as ‘long Covid’.

I am also involved in running research studies and giving patients the opportunity take part in clinical research is a vital part of my job. At the moment, I am very proud to be leading the Valneva Covid-19 vaccine trial within Northumbria. It provides a fantastic opportunity for people in our region to take part in ground-breaking Covid-19 research that can help fight this disease and stop it spreading.

We have a track record of leading and delivering research studies aimed at helping patients with lung disease. For example, several research trials, led by our trust, have improved the care of patients with COPD (a common chronic lung disease) across the NHS. Our experience of delivering clinical trials, the expertise of our research department and the support of our patients will help make the Valneva Covid-19 vaccine trial a success.

Even though we have lots of treatment, expertise and support we can provide to patients who have Covid-19, developing new and effective vaccines to prevent this disease is essential and the Valneva Covid-19 vaccine trial is a further step towards this goal. Quite an incredible thing to be involved in.

If you would like to find out more about the trial and the pre-screening, follow this link https://www.ukcovid19study.com.

Working with a large team of people, is something I really enjoy. The team includes doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, administrative staff, porters, cleaners and research staff, just to mention a few! We are all focused on helping patients who need our support – working together for one cause.

Despite the NHS, and our trust, being placed under massive strain by the Covi-19 pandemic, the professionalism and dedication of all who work in it never ceases to amaze me and is very humbling.

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