Hasan Tahir joined Barnet Hospital in 2019 and is a consultant rheumatologist and an honorary clinical professor in the Division of Medicine at UCL.
One of my goals was to step up rheumatology research at Barnet Hospital and then COVID came and I was redeployed. As I was dual trained I was deployed on the wards looking after COVID patients and on top of that fitting in urgent rheumatology consultations via telephone and video with non COVID patients.
“With COVID I was able to use my previous 15 years’ experience of running clinical trials and bring that to Barnet Hospital. I felt I was able to bring added value as a rheumatology consultant who was already familiar with many of the drugs being trialled in COVID and as someone with a lot of experience of clinical trials. COVID really showed us how we could pool our resources together with the amazing support of the trust and channel them in all the right places. I have worked with a committed and enthusiastic team helping recruit over 100 patients to COVID drug trials at Barnet Hospital alone.
“Viewers of Hospital will see the work undertaken for the COV-BARRIER trial. Barnet was the first hospital in the UK to recruit to the study, which looked to see if the drug baricitinib – a drug for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis - is effective in hospitalised COVID-19 patients. The programme also focuses on a part of the RECOVERY trial with patients shown receiving convalescent plasma treatment.
“It has been brilliant seeing the teams at Barnet Hospital coming together to help recruit patients to research trials. What’s been great is so many junior doctors have also come on board. They are seeing the successful impact that research is having for our patients which has made them even more determined to be involved.”