I last wrote on this blog about our patient and public involvement (PPI) play in January, so haven’t had the chance to share the reviews written by Simon Denegri, NIHR National Director for Patients and the Public in Research and theatre critic Susan Elkin.
We now have another review to share, as we are delighted to announce the winner of our “extended tweet” competition, where youngsters who saw the play in their school were invited to write up to 140 words addressing one of the following statements:
“It is a good idea for Jake to help Adam plan his research because…”
“It is not a good idea for Jake to help Adam plan his research because…”
Entries were judged – by members of the group that advised on the creation of the play – on the basis of the strength of argument and logical thinking. It was fascinating to read almost 100 entries, and see how the play sparked ideas and thoughts among youngsters to whom PPI was totally new. While they were overwhelmingly in favour of PPI, a handful felt it was a bad idea, citing reasons that ranged from researchers being trained experts, to the risk that patients would find involvement too distressing.
The winner is Mya Henry, a year 9 student at Prendergast Hilly Fields School in south London, who wrote:
“It is a good idea for Jake to help Adam plan his research because despite not knowing the biomedical details of his disease, Jake has first hand experience of what living with the condition is like. When it comes down to it, aplastic anaemia affects people-and no amount of studying in a lab will enable you to understand the daily affects it has. To an extent, patients should be involved because one of the NHS’ founding principles is to “coordinate around and cater for the needs and preferences of patients”. And by including patients in medical research both staff and patient will be able to learn from each other and build better relationships. Nobody would be able to help anybody if people didn’t communicate with one another and medical staff are supposed to be there to help.”
The judges felt that Mya’s piece was well-rounded, and nicely linked the NHS’ drive to recognise the needs and preferences of patients with the importance of communication between patients, medical staff and researchers to enable them to learn from each other. We offer our heartfelt congratulations to Mya, and to the other winners, who are:
Second place: Will Webb, Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, Cheshire
Joint third place:
Molly Harris, Brigshaw High School, Yorkshire
Chloe Wright, Little Heath School, Berkshire
If you are unsure what you think about PPI and would like to see a film of the play that sparked so much debate, there is a special performance in London on July 19th at 6.30 pm. To book your free place, please contact Nigel Townsend, Director of Theatre of Debate, at Nigel@theatrefdebate.co.uk