Publish date: 07 July 2020

UCLH will be part of a major UK research study looking at the long-term health impacts of COVID-19.


It is not yet known what long term impact the disease will have on the health of patients who were hospitalised then later discharged including – for instance – the long term impact on lung health and psychological wellbeing.

This means it is not clear what the medical, psychological and rehabilitation needs of patients will be to enable as full a recovery as possible.

In the PHOSP-COVID study (Post-Hospital COVID) researchers will use techniques such as advanced imaging, data collection and analysis of blood and lung samples to create a comprehensive picture of the impact COVID-19 has had on longer term health outcomes across the UK.

The study team will then test new strategies for clinical care, including personalised treatments for groups of patients based on the particular disease characteristics they show as a result of having COVID-19.

The UCLH portion of the study will be led by Infectious Diseases consultant Dr Michael Marks, and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) UCLH Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). The study is led overall by the NIHR Leicester BRC.

The study has been awarded £8.4million jointly by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the NIHR and has been given urgent public health research status by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Around 10,000 patients across the UK are expected to take part, making it the largest comprehensive study in the world to understand and improve the health of survivors after hospitalisation from COVID-19.

Dr Marks said: “As COVID-19 is a new disease, there is a lot we don’t know about the long term impacts and how to help patients recovery. Our research will address this critical unanswered questions and allow us to develop treatment strategies for patients, which will ultimately improve care.”

Dr Toby Hillman, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at UCLH, said: "This is an entirely new disease that has been shown to have significant impacts on patients, even if their initial illness was mild. At UCLH we have been able to see over 300 patients face to face in a multi-disciplinary environment after their COVID illnesses. We are constantly learning new things about this disease from our patients, and by patients contributing to this study their experiences will help others in the UK and across the globe.”

Professor David Lomas, UCL Vice Provost (Health) who is co-chair of the steering committee for the study, said: “We are proud to be a partner in this vital national work which will fill gaps in our current understanding of COVID-19 and enable us to treat and support patients who have had the disease as best we possibly can.”

To follow the study as it develops, visit