JRO Private: COVID-19 Our COVID-19 Response

Our COVID-19 Response

The response to COVID-19 from LHP SPARK and our Infection Programme

The COVID-19 pandemic was a huge disruptor for healthcare. Across the globe, researchers united to work on potential treatments and vaccinations. Liverpool Health Partners is proud to say that LHP SPARK (Single Point of Access to Research & Knowledge) and our Infection programme had a significant impact on local COVID-19 research. Read on to find out how.



LHP SPARK played a significant part in Liverpool’s STOP COVID response. Liverpool STOP COVID is a collaboration structure created to deliver a rapid research response, allowing Liverpool locals to contribute to overcoming COVID-19. With the support of LHP SPARK, all of our partners were able to provide brilliant, locally led COVID-19 research. With LHP SPARK’s support, our partners collectively managed to recruit over 12,000 patients into COVID-19 treatment and vaccination research. 

Leading strategic initiatives

By leading the Liverpool STOP COVID command structure, LHP SPARK was able to:

  • Set up and deliver national Urgent Public Health (UPH) studies and local strategic research
  • Develop research collaborations around new COVID grant applications and the formation of new research partnerships across the region
  • Work as a system to tackle the challenges of the COVID pandemic

As well as leading the Liverpool STOP COVID command structure, LHP SPARK led on several other strategic initiatives. These include:

  • Working with LTSM (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine) and the Central Vaccine Alliance to support recruitment, delivery and follow up of the Oxford Vaccine Study
  • Developing the LHP Health Care Worker Research Framework (HCWRF) which allowed for the efficient set-up of multiple recruitment sites for HCW related studies
  • Establishing an agile and deployable LHP SPARK COVID taskforce alongside NIHR CRN NWC (National Institute for Healthcare Research, Clinical Research Network North West Coast)  Taskforce to support LHP NHS Trust Research Delivery Teams deliver COVID research

Our Infection programme

Liverpool STOP COVID

Our Infection Programme’s team worked closely with colleagues across 12 partner organisations to support Liverpool’s STOP COVID response.

The team also made sure to communicate their latest findings and news across the system. This was made possible by monthly STOP COVID webinars which created opportunities to learn and share knowledge. The STOP COVID webinars reached over 500 colleagues from our partner organisations and beyond.

Watch our STOP COVID webinars:


The Infection Programme team supported 58 infection grant applications, including new collaborations across the system.

The team also promoted LHP SPARK’s work, resulting in more people getting involved.


A framework was put together for COVID COVER (the COVID Collaborative Volunteer Scheme). The framework provided opportunities for volunteers to collaborate with researchers that required support to work on the STOP COVID response. Overall, over 100 volunteers were recruited. These volunteers had a wide range of expertise across clinical, academic and corporate fields. Our Infection Programme Manager, Elizabeth Collins, gave a presentation on COVID COVER in our first STOP COVID webinar.

Both LHP SPARK and the Infection Programme are continuing to support COVID-19 research and clinical trials. If you would like to learn more about LHP SPARK and the Infection Programme’s contribution to COVID-19 research, take a look at our End of Year Review.