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The NHS turns 70: Celebrating public involvement in health research

Posted on July 5th 2018

On Thursday 5th July 2018, the NHS turned 70 years old.

Since its inception, the NHS has constantly evolved in response to changing needs, and has transformed the health and wellbeing of the nation. To commemorate this, our Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) team have created an animation encouraging public involvement in health research.

The team worked closely with Mary, a parent carer of a disabled child, and a member of PenCRU's Family Faculty. In the video, Mary discusses what persuaded to get involved in research, and why she would encourage others to do so. ​

Dr Kristin Liabo, Senior Research Fellow in the Patient and Public Involvement team, emphasises the importance of involving patients and the public in health research:

‘Mary has collaborated on several studies with PenCRU and PenCLAHRC, and contributed to training development for other public advisors and academic articles. As a researcher I have personally learnt lots from Mary, and other patients and carers who help us do research that will directly benefit the NHS. I have yet to facilitate a meeting between researchers, clinicians and patients where the professionals didn’t learn at least one new thing about what it means to be a patient in the NHS. This is how we improve and build a national health service: working together. Happy birthday NHS!’

Since first taking part in health research, Mary’s confidence has gone from strength to strength. She says:

“Being involved in research has changed my impression of how I can operate within the NHS.  I can use my experience to support the development of health research which, in turn, supports the development of NHS treatments in a positive way. I would encourage anyone to get involved in health research, it’s easy and rewarding!”

Mary’s is now a co-applicant on PenCRU’s Healthy Parent Carer’s project, which aims to promote and improve the health and wellbeing of parent carers of disabled children. To read more about its aims, visit the project page.

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