NIAA Update: March 2020

Welcome to the March 2020 newsletter

As we are all aware, we are living through some tough and challenging times at the moment. We commend the NHS clinicians working hard to treat and care for patients, and clinical academics who are researching ways to help combat COVID-19. We hope you continue to stay safe and well during this time.

COVID-19 RESPONSE: New online hub for anaesthetists and intensivists

Working in collaboration, the Royal College of Anaesthetists, The Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, the Intensive Care Society and the Association of Anaesthetists are urgently reviewing and revising clinical guidance to provide the UK intensive care and anaesthetic community with up-to-date clinical information, guidance and resources needed to better understand and manage COVID-19.

Visit the COVID-19 guidance hub here.

COVID-19 Research Collaborations

The Research and Audit Federation of Trainees (RAFT), and the CovidSurg Steering Group are conducting two research studies to assess the current situation.

Trainee Network Study: COVID-19 Response Assessment (CERA)

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare in the UK is becoming fully apparent. With anaesthetic and intensive care doctors around the UK at the forefront of delivering care to infected individuals, the topic of our own wellbeing and experience is paramount.

Recognising the impact of this pandemic on our profession, in addition to better understanding the influence of personal factors such as concern for our families' wellbeing or enforced self-isolation, will prove vital in tailoring wellbeing and psychological support for anaesthetists and intensivists both throughout and after this pandemic.

RAFT, the UK's trainee research group, are collaborating with national emergency medicine research groups (TERN and PERUKI) to deliver a survey-based study looking at the psychological impact of the pandemic on front line staff. All anaesthetists and intensivists, regardless of training or grade, are facing the same potential impact on wellbeing from COVID-19.

All currently practicing UK anaesthetists and intensivists are therefore invited to participate.

Below is a link to a 4-minute baseline survey of the current situation. Please do take a few minutes to answer the questions if you are able to.

Click here to start survey

Below are further details about the study for information, but please do get in touch if you have any queries.

Please do share this with your anaesthetic and intensive care departments so that all have an opportunity to participate. The first survey will remain open until Sunday the 29th of March at 23:59.

We hope that this study will positively bring attention to the importance of our wellbeing during this unprecedented time, and recognise the psychological impact on us not just as doctors but as individuals.

Kind regards,

Katie Samuel -
(RAFT Chair)

 CERA poster.pdf (262 KB)

Study Objective
How are health outcomes of physicians providing emergency care in the UK affected over the course of an outbreak of COVID-19? (Development of short term psychological distress (anxiety, depression and excessive fatigue), long term psychological distress (development of features of posttraumatic stress disorder), and physical health outcomes).

How will this be done?
We will administer 3 surveys that asks questions at 3 distinct time points - "the acceleration phase", "the peak phase", "the deceleration phase". Once the participant answers the first survey, the other surveys will be automatically sent to them via email.

How do you do participate?
Individuals will be sent a web-link to complete the survey. The survey is hosted securely by REDCap (server at University of Bristol) and is compliant with relevant information governance rules.

The study has received University Ethics Approval from the University of Bath (Ref: 4421). The CERA study has been approved by the Health Research Authority (HRA). Each participant is required to provide consent and involvement in the study is entirely voluntary.

Follow-up and risk to participants
Some of the issues explored will be sensitive, and we understand that is a very challenging time for everyone. We have included some information about sources that you might wish to contact within this survey for support if needed.

CovidSurg Study - Surgical Outcomes for COVID-19 Patients

COVID-19 is a rapidly expanding global challenge, placing a huge burden on healthcare systems. There is no evidence to inform the management of surgical patients with COVID-19 infection. Capturing real-world data and sharing international experience will support the management of this complex group of patients, improving their clinical care.

We would like to invite you to join CovidSurg, an international collaboration of surgeons and anesthetists. CovidSurg is an observational study of patients who undergo surgery with either suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection (either before or after surgery). Cases can be entered either prospectively or retrospectively. All collaborators will be recognised with PubMed-indexed collaborative co-authorship on any resulting papers (example: In addition, CovidSurg will run a series of further studies, including global hospital-level surveys to track the impact of COVID-19 on patients, hospitals, and healthcare staff.

To get involved, please register at:

A draft protocol and case report form is available from
Regular updates will be posted on this website.

Thank you for considering joining the CovidSurg collaboration.

Kind regards
CovidSurg Steering Group

RCoA response to COVID-19

As the Medical Royal College representing the largest single hospital specialty, the RCoA is responsible for providing its fellows and members with up-to-date information on how it is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.

See how the RCoA is responding to COVID-19 here.

Postponement of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

As part of wider COVID-19 contingency planning, on Tuesday 24 March 2020 Research England announced its decision to postpone the 2021 REF submission, which had originally been scheduled for November 2020.

Further information on REF's COVID-19 contingency planning can be found here.

NIAA research grants activity & COVID-19

Given the ongoing and unprecedented situation with COVID-19 all NIAA partners together with the Board Chair have agreed to take the decision to postpone all NIAA research grant activity for the foreseeable future.

Please click here for more about what this means.

BMA Foundation for Medical Research - COVID-19 Research Grant

The BMA Foundation for Medical Research is offering the COVID-19 grant up to £65,000 for new and ongoing research into COVID-19.

Applications will be assessed against the following overall criteria:

Importance (clinical or otherwise) of the work
Scientific reliability - project design and methods
Data analysis
Experience of applicant, facilities and support
Appropriate use of funds

The BMA Foundation for Medical Research grants will only fund the direct research costs of the research project and is not available for any overheads, estates costs or indirect costs.

For more information on criteria and how to apply, go to the BMA website here.

Applications must be submitted by the deadline on Friday 3 April 2020

@NIAAResearch on Twitter

If you're not already, follow the NIAA Research Twitter account @NIAAResearch where we will provide any updates and news on our research projects and activities during this rapidly changing climate.