Amardeep-Heer Director of Research and Innovation
The Leicester-based organisation, part of the National Institute for Health Research, said:
'We wanted to convey our thanks for the enormous effort and support that has gone into research at your organisation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The past year has undoubtedly been challenging, but we hope that you and your colleagues can reflect proudly on all that we have achieved together. We have made significant progress in our efforts to tackle COVID-19, and this would not have been possible without the dedication, determination and resilience that research staff across the region have demonstrated on a daily basis. We are very proud of the contribution that the East Midlands has made to the research response to the pandemic.
'Locally, we would particularly like to thank you and your team at Lakeside Healthcare for supporting the delivery of two COVID-19 vaccine trials. We know that at times these have been challenging; but recruiting so many participants to the Novavax and Valneva trials is a fantastic achievement and has been an important part of our regional contribution to vaccine research. We hope that the research team at your organisation is aware of how much their dedication and professionalism is valued by us all and can take pride in what they have been a part of … we are confident that your role in the vaccine trials will aid your growing reputation as a leading site for Primary Care research … We look forward to continuing and strengthening our partnership with you in order to build on our achievements in the coming year.'
Lakeside CEO Prof Robert Harris responded:
'The past 18 months has arguably been the most trying period most of us working in the NHS have ever known. So many lives have been lost, but because of the research and vaccination delivery work undertaken by so many colleagues across the region and the country, so many more lives have been saved.
'We are immensely proud of the work led by Dr Amardeep Heer and his team in regards both the Novavax and Valneva trials. They have not dinted in their application, endeavour or focus. Their work rate and determination has been immense. I would like also to add my personal thanks to the very many Lakeside partners that also assisted Amardeep in this work.
'We started our clinical research business only a few years ago, but we believe the difference we have made both to our patients' lives and the advancement of science is already considerable. We shall maintain this level of commitment, both to the Clinical Research Network and the various trials we undertake.'
Dr Amardeep Heer, GP Partner and Director of Research and Innovation, said:
'I would like to thank all members of our Research Team who have put in immense effort and hard work in our contribution to the development of vaccines to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. The delivery of these trials has been a truly multi-disciplinary team approach working with staff from the CRN East Midlands along with Lakeside Healthcare Group Staff and Partners. My sincere thanks to all the volunteers we have seen for these trials without whom these trials could not have been delivered and I hope that they will continue working with us until these very important studies close.'