Adele is one of our Public Involvement Strategy Group members.
After a main career in education I became a carer for my mother. As a way of giving something back and helping to make a difference to the health service, I began working as a volunteer for my local Trust, where I was part of a team developing and testing a tool to monitor observations of care for patients who would not normally have a voice. Following that, I received training to interview carers of patients with dementia about their relatives’ stay in hospital and did so for several years. The feedback gathered was used to inform service improvement.
As a result of this experience I joined the Strategy Group of People in Health West of England, which was a ground-breaking collaboration to ensure that across the region there was a strong public voice throughout the pathway of research, from prioritising areas for research to its delivery to the patient.
Since then I have engaged with different aspects of research and its process: the 100,000 Genomes Project, patient and public involvement on advisory groups for three research projects, a lay Member of the Board of the West of England Academic Health and Science Network and a member of the Research Oversight Group for the Health and Prevention workstream of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration in the West of England (NIHR ARC West).
I am currently a member of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Funding Board for Health Service and Delivery and have been working with Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on Personalised Care, focusing on End of Life Care.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought the implications and impact of human behaviours to the fore. It is this aspect of the Health Protection Research Unit’s (HPRU) work that interested me most and where I am keen to extend my knowledge and understanding. I was also impressed with the practical nature of some of the work that HPRU’s have already achieved. Never has the public been so aware of the responsibility and effect of individual and collective behaviours.
This feels like a watershed moment, as well as providing a valuable opportunity to develop shared responsibility for health between patients and practitioners, which is where the future lies. I am looking forward to bringing my previous experiences to the HPRU Public Involvement Strategy Group and building on them.
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