Research Champion - John's story
A retired biomedical scientist from Bolton, John Taylor became a Research Champion for NIHR CRN Greater Manchester in June 2019.
John has had experience in the medical world having been a Microbiologist for the NHS and later in his career an Industrial Quality Control Microbiologist in the private sector so brings a lot of experience into the champion role. John tells us why he wanted to become a Research Champion and what he has been involved in since he took up the role.
John first got involved in research through Research for the Future (RftF), an NHS-supported campaign which encourages people to get more involved with health research in their local area. He was waiting for an appointment at Salford Royal Hospital in the renal clinic when he picked up a leaflet and decided to register, it was from RftF he found out about the CRN Research Champions initiative and decided to contact the CRN to find out more.
John was encouraged to sign up as a Research Champion because he wanted to help having suffered health problems himself. He had a heart attack aged 52, with three blocked arteries he had to have five bypasses. Then eight years later, he suffered another heart attack and had four bypasses and then another year later had another heart attack and had stents to try and stop the blockages. In total John had five heart attacks.
John explains: “I became a Research Champion because I wanted to help, and because I suffered ill health myself as a multimorbidity patient. Without patients cooperating in previous research, I wouldn’t be here and now the surgery I had may not have been available.”
“I am only here today because of research. Without research, I wouldn’t have a future so anything I can get involved in that will help, I’m happy to volunteer."
John has since sat on two decision making committees for the CRN and been a part of a focus group commenting on patient-facing leaflets for a global data technology organisation.
As well as his role as a Research Champion, John also has roles reviewing grant applications, was a board member for Bolton Council for Voluntary Service and has been a member of three NICE Guidelines development groups.
A widower with a grown up daughter and a wide circle of friends, John likes to spend his time walking with his Golden Retriever Ellie in and around Bolton’s parks and green spaces and is a National Trust member.
How to become a patient Research Champion
We are always looking to add to our group of local Research Champions in Greater Manchester. If you would like to become a champion or have a casual chat about what the role entails and how you can help, we would love to hear from you.
Please contact Janet Eastwood, Head of Communications and Patient and Public Involvement (e) email@example.com (t) 0161 276 4646.