Are you thinking of becoming involved in research? Curious to know what it might be like to work alongside researchers and healthcare professionals in the research journey? Here one of Patient and Public Research Panel members gives a little insight into what to expect…
Q What motivated you to become part of our panel?
A Transplant surgeons undertook a massive operation on a family member with cancer giving them the chance of life. Becoming part of the panel was a way of giving back and saying thank you for their amazing work.
Q What do you enjoy most about being part of the panel?
A I find it fascinating and inspiring to hear about the research that is being planned. It’s also very interesting to hear the views of different panel members. They come up with questions and ideas that I never would have thought of. We’re all from different backgrounds but seem to work well together as a team.
Q As a member of the panel what kind of activities have you been involved in?
A I’ve attended meetings of the panel online and in person and been to an annual meeting of the whole research team. I’ve been to informal coffee meetings with researchers too. Other opportunities that I have had include speaking to students about my experience of being part of the panel. I’ve also been a co-applicant for grant applications, which involved being part of the research team. I was involved in discussing ideas for the research and helping write documents to try and make sure that they were easy to understand.
Q What personal qualities or experience do you think are needed to be part of the panel?
A I think the most important things are an interest in learning new things, being prepared to listen to different views on topics and being happy to share any thoughts you have. This can be done in different ways, including writing down comments and questions before or after meetings. I don’t think previous experience is necessary as there’s plenty of support and we’re all learning together. New members are made to feel very welcome too.
Q Why do you think it’s important for patients/carers/public to be involved in the research of the BTRU in ODT?
A Involvement is important to make sure that the research done is relevant and acceptable to patients, carers and the public. It also helps ensure that any information for them about the study is written in a way which is easy to understand. The researchers seem keen to hear people’s views, so I think they value this involvement.