The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) has joined a study testing care home staff and residents for immune response to COVID-19.
Residents and employees at 65 homes across OSJCT will join other organisations participating in the research project, known as Vivaldi 2, conducted by scientists at University College London (UCL).
The purpose of the project is to study if people produce antibodies after suffering COVID-19 and what the implication of those antibodies might be in respect of building up immunity.
The study follows the first Vivaldi project which sought to determine how many care home staff and residents have been infected with COVID-19. The research will enable the sector to develop the best approach to COVID-19 testing in the future.
OSJCT’s news comes after the government announced last week it was expanding the Vivaldi 2 project from 100 to 340 care homes.
OSJCT Chief Executive Dan Hayes said: “It’s vitally important that we participate in these studies and support the search for a long-term solution to this unprecedented challenge.
“We are well known for the high-standards of care that colleagues across OSJCT provide. Looking to the future and ensuring that we can return to ‘normality’ is another key element of that.”
Claire Sykes, Senior Project manager, who is running the project at the Trust, said: “I’m proud to be coordinating the support for this important study on behalf of the Trust. Our dedicated care home colleagues, despite having unprecedented demands during this pandemic, have risen to the challenge as they always do.”
Dr Maria Krutikov, Vivaldi Clinical Project Manager at UCL, added: “Participation in the Vivaldi study will help us estimate how many people living and working in care homes have been infected with COVID-19 and learn more about immunity following infection.
“These insights will help Government and the NHS make decisions about vaccination and will also guide decisions around care home testing and the best approaches to protect staff and residents from future infections.”