NHS FORTH VALLEY patients are contributing towards the world's largest clinical trial examining potential treatments for Covid-19 (coronavirus).

Named RECOVERY, the UK Government funded clinical trial involves thousands of patients across the country.

The RECOVERY trial in Forth Valley started on April 10, and so far more than 20 patients have been recruited to take part.

The purpose of the trial is to try and find an effective treatment for Covid-19 by testing pre-existing medicines.

These include steroids, antivirals, antimalarial agents and antibiotics, with the trial also including an adaptive design that enables other potentially useful treatments to be quickly introduced for investigation.

All patients being treated at Forth Valley Royal Hospital for coronavirus are invited to participate in the clinical trial.

Those who consent are randomised to an active drug or standard care.

The RECOVERY trial is one of a number of research projects being supported by NHS Forth Valley's Clinical Research Team to advance research, development and evidence related to coronavirus as quickly as possible.

Dr Mark Spears, local principal investigator for the trial, said: "Clinical research is of crucial importance for the NHS as it helps improve patient care and treatment.

"The RECOVERY trial is an excellent example of this as it is one of the largest trials in the world involved in identifying potential treatments for patients hospitalised for COVID-19.

"This trial has generated significant interest which reflects the desire of local staff to improve outcomes for our patients.

"Many departments, services and individuals across NHS Forth Valley have played a role in bringing this trial to Forth Valley Royal Hospital and I would like to thank everyone involved for their support."

Working collaboratively across the UK, Forth Valley Royal Hospital is enabling access to a treatment trial for Covid-19 as well as delivering world-class research.