INTRODUCTION: Surgeons and allied professionals have been quick to respond to the need for evidence during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS England) has provided formal recognition, support and guidance to all members of its interdisciplinary collaborative COVID Research Group (RCS CRG). We describe research conducted by members of this group, initial findings and lessons for clinical practice so far.
METHODS: Members of the more than 50 projects included so far in the RCS CRG portfolio were invited to provide a summary of their project and findings to date. The 26 summaries received were collated and broad themes identified to produce this summary document.
RESULTS: Wide-ranging projects have been conducted by members of the RCS CRG, rapidly yielding crucial insights into the behaviour of the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen, its impact on patients and staff, the challenges it presents to surgical practice and investigation into methods to adapt and overcome such challenges.
CONCLUSIONS: The response of the surgical research community to COVID-19 has been rapid and well-organised. Early establishment of a formal network under the auspices of RCS England has assisted efficient research collaboration and delivery, while avoiding academic duplication between groups. This has led to a high research output, directly informing and substantially influencing practice throughout and beyond the pandemic.
Mehendale, F., Gupta, S., Beamish, A., Akkulak, M., Hutchinson, P. & RCS COVID Research Group 2021, 'The RCS England COVID-19 Surgical Research Group: early findings and lessons to influence surgical practice', Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England. https://doi.org/10.1308/rcsann.2021.0216