Community Engagement in Health Research

Posted in: News on November 25, 2013

The National Health Service aims to engage people in research at all levels including as participants and as advisors to studies as well as looking at developing research which meets local population needs. Dr Hazel Mackey, Research Lead, Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership Trust, is keen to develop a vision where patients of SSOTP are enabled to ask about research and become experts in treatments for their conditions. To do this Hazel has linked with Lynne Wealleans from the Beth Johnson Foundation (BJF) and Mary Anne Darby from WMN CLRN to run a seminar to engage with key members of voluntary organisations in Staffordshire.An initial seminar took place at the Beth Johnson Foundation on October 2nd 2013 where Mary Anne, who as a Research Manager also leads on Patient and Public Involvement In Research (PPI) for the WMN CLRN outlined her work and the target of empowering local populations to become active partners and consumers of research. Kathleen Pemberton WMN CLRN PPI Representative accompanied Mary-Anne and talked about her experience of being a PPI Representative.The seminar has kick started the following programme of work:A steering group composed of Frances Chadwick from Engage, Lynne Wealleans BJF, Liz Daly Live at Home, Mary- Anne Darby WMN CLRN, Janet Henson of Workers Education Authority (WEA),]has been established to develop links with Health Research and the Voluntary sector. The group met on 11th November 2013.Agreed actions:Mary Anne to outline the role of research in the NHS and how patients/ carers/ communities can become engaged in local research, know what is going on and start to ask about research with key clinicians. Frances Chadwick to use her extensive network to share this information.Mary Anne to contribute to Engage Newsletter outlining the role of the CLRN, research in the NHS and the need for user engagement.Mary Anne to work with Frances and engage to look at the information that is given to patients to make it more accessible and easy to understand for harder to reach communities.Steering Group to meet quarterly to plan events to further develop links across Health Research and the Voluntary sector.The overall aim is to• facilitate our local population to ask about research and best treatments• facilitate our local populations to understand the research process and how to become involved in research trials• Develop a patient-led agenda whereby research is suggested by and benefits local people.This is a unique programme of work.

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