Our Work with Patients and the Public
Working with patients and members of the public is a vital part of how the BRC functions and has a major role to play in its future.
Patient and public involvement helps increase our researchers’ confidence that they are researching what matters to those they seek to help and working in ways that are right for them.
We involve patients and the public in deciding what research to do, how to do it and what is done with the results, alongside the many steps in between.
They may act as partners in projects to identify research priorities in a specific disease area, help create written material that is accessible to patients, get involved in research grant applications or monitor research as it progresses.
We are also exploring new ways to involve patients and public with our work with industry to ensure that such partnerships are open, transparent and meeting patients’ needs.
Patient and public involvement is guided by Patients Active in Research (PAIR), a group that includes local patients as well as researchers and other staff.
A cornerstone of our work to identify what research to carry out are James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnerships which, although based locally, have national reach and impact.
These are groups of patients, carers and clinicians who work together to identify and prioritise the most pressing research questions in specific disease areas and so ensure that research addresses patients’ needs and wishes.
We have also set up and manage a website, Patients Active in Research Thames Valley, that allows researchers to post details of studies they are designing or carrying out and patients and the public to browse the site or register an interest. We can also “match make” studies with patients or public volunteers.
We also provide training for patients, public and researchers and have a major programme of work assessing the impact of patient and public involvement.
Engaging the wider public in our research is also a major objective for the BRC, ensuring that our community knows how public funds are being spent and to encourage interest in medical science.
An ongoing series of events about our work include monthly talks from senior researchers on topics such as personalised cancer care, hepatitis C and the impact of stroke and acute illness.
Our activities also include open days (see video, below) of tours, talks and exhibitions and events for schools including a partnership with the Wellcome Trust and Theatre of Debate, a company that specialises in bringing the ethical, moral and social issues around medical research to schools.