New role puts patient voice at heart of research
Helen Atkinson is the new Patient Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) Manager for the Ageing, Sarcopenia and Multimorbidity (ASM) theme of the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre. In her blog she explains how she’s beginning an exciting programme of PPIE activity that puts patients at the heart of ageing research.
I really became passionate and began my PPIE journey whilst working in the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research for Professor Sir Doug Turnbull. I really enjoyed involving and engaging patients in some of the groundbreaking mitochondrial research taking place.
In my previous role I was the Involvement & Engagement Manager for the Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria where I lead on the Participant Research Experience Survey (PRES) – a valuable tool that captures a participants’ experience of taking part in a research study. It enables us to find out what’s working well and to identify any improvements that could be made to improve a study. I also supported Research Champions – volunteers passionate about raising awareness of what research is and how people can take part.
From the skills I’ve learnt I’m excited to develop some innovative PPIE in my new role; working in partnership with patients, carers and the public within our local communities.
New role in the BRC
I’m delighted to join the team as Patient Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) Manager for the Ageing, Sarcopenia and Multimorbidity (ASM) theme of the Biomedical Research Centre.
In this new role I’ll be developing a thriving programme of PPIE activities and ensuring that the patient voice is at the heart of the research that we do. It’s really important to me that people from all walks of life and from our local communities are given the opportunities to hear about our research, get involved in our research and take part in our research.
Since joining the team I’ve hit the ground running! I recently organised a successful visit to meet with a group of residents who provided some valuable PPIE input on some resources we are developing.
Ensuring that our Early Career Researchers are supported with their PPIE plans will be another priority area within my role,
Developing new partnerships with local organisations is another area I’m keen to explore to ensure that our PPIE is meaningful and inclusive. I also look forward to collaborating with PPIE colleagues within the wider BRC and regionally through the Creating Connections network.
Making a difference
I really enjoy bringing members of the public and researchers together to discuss a research idea or design a dissemination event. I love hearing and watching their ideas, thoughts and insights come to fruition! It always amazes me at what can be achieved by working together.
I enjoy working in research as it makes a real difference to peoples’ lives. I’m proud to be part of the Ageing Sarcopenia and Multimorbidity multi-disciplinary team and look forward to involving patients, carers and the public in our research theme.