A Patient Research Ambassador is someone who promotes health research from a patient point of view. They could be a patient, service user, carer or lay person who is enthusiastic about health research and willing to communicate that to other patients, the public, as well as healthcare professionals. We need both patients and NHS researchers to recognise the importance of research in delivering health care. As a Patient Research Ambassador you can help to ensure that people using local NHS care have the best opportunities and choices about taking part in research studies. Find out more about the role of a Patient Research Ambassador.
Here, Christine Menzies, Patient and Public Engagement and Involvement Manager talks about the programme:
As Christine explains, a Patient Research Ambassador will contribute according to, skills and interests and the time that they have available. Our North Thames PRAs might to do any of the following things (and more!) as part of their volunteer role.
In North Thames, some of the support you get as a PRA might include:
Becoming a PRA can be a rewarding role and a wonderful way to feel you are giving back to your community. Watch the videos below to hear from some of our current PRAs.
Ellie Herrington had passion for research ever since her mother took part in a clinical trial. Ellie wanted to share her knowledge and the positive impact clinical research has brought to her family. Ellie saw being a PRA as “having a voice and using it”, allowing her to spread the importance and impact of clinical trial to patients, clinicians and medical staffs. Ellie said, “I am arming myself with a lot of knowledge and it’s amazing how this knowledge can make a difference and not just to me”.
Jeff Pollock suffered a stroke and was recommended to join clinical trials. By being a PRA, he was able to share his experiences and the benefits of being in the clinical trials. He states that being a PRA is “giving something back to people in need and helps them get on trials”. In his spare time Jeff manages a website dedicated to Stroke information.
If you have had experience of clinical research within North Thames and are interested in becoming a Patient Research Ambassador, please email Christine.Menzies@nihr.ac.uk with details of the hospital and specialty research area you participated in.