Publish date: 21 December 2021

University College London Hospitals (UCLH) is now administering new COVID-19 treatments for patients at highest risk in the community. The service began on Thursday 16 December, prescribing oral antivirals and has now fully launched with the capability to also give IV antibody treatments. 

Please note: there are very strict eligibility criteria for these treatments so please do not contact your GP. If you are eligible, you will be contacted.  

Neutralising monoclonal antibodies (nMABs) or antiviral treatments for the highest risk non-hospitalised patients with COVID-19 are being given to patients at a dedicated clinic at University College Hospital. This is known as the nMAB CMDU (COVID Medicines Delivery Unit).  

nMABs are an intravenous treatment and are recommended to be available as a treatment option for non-hospitalised adults and children (aged 12 years and above) in the nationally identified highest risk patient cohorts. More information about the treatments can be found here.    

In addition to the intravenous treatment, the CMDU at UCLH is also offering an oral antiviral as an alternative for patients for whom the intravenous treatment is not feasible/contraindicated. Patients getting the oral antivirals will not need to attend the CMDU for the treatment.  

Alongside these new routine treatments, the Government has announced details of ‘PANORAMIC’ – a national study to review the effectiveness of antivirals in a wider at-risk patient cohort. Information on the study and how to join it can be found here.  

Most of the highest risk patients will receive a letter or email telling them in advance they may be eligible for these treatments in the event they test PCR positive for COVID-19. They will also automatically receive a priority PCR test to keep at home. It is anticipated that 15 per cent of patients will be referred from either 111 services, by their GP or their specialist, who identify patients that are not captured as part of the national database. These referrals will be made via Directory of Services or eRS and clinical triage will then be undertaken by the CMDU.  

The CMDU will be operating sufficient hours to enable treatments to be given within the set time frames, with the ambition to deliver a seven-day service if required. Patient transport will be provided for those who cannot arrange travel but need to attend the CMDU service for their intravenous infusion. A pharmacy delivery service will also be made available for those who cannot arrange for the collection of their oral antiviral treatments  

In the event of a positive PCR test, eligible high-risk patients will be contacted directly to discuss the treatment and confirm eligibility.  

Whittington Health Community services will also be working alongside the CMDU to arrange any ongoing support some patients may need following treatment.  

The patient SMS text message and letter, along with the ‘easy read’ patient information leaflet can be downloaded from the following links: