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Young people celebrate their contribution to clinical research in the West Midlands

Young people celebrate their contribution to clinical research in the West Midlands

A group of young people which has supported a wide range of clinical research studies in the past 10 years, gathered on Saturday 7 September to celebrate their achievements.

The NIHR Clinical Research Network West Midlands Young Persons’ Steering Group has been meeting regularly in Birmingham since its inception in 2009, to raise awareness of research and opportunities to take part, as well as working with teams across the region to improve research delivery.

Lizzie Hyde, aged 21 who has been a member of the group since she was 11 years old and is now studying Pharmacy at Keele University, commented: ‘It’s been a great day - it was lovely to see so many members past and present and some of the researchers we have worked with over the years. If it wasn’t for clinical research, I wouldn’t have made it to my fifth birthday, so I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to give something back.’

Over the years the group has:

  • Worked on 19 West Midlands studies which in total recruited 4,500 patients and helped with over 30 Industry studies. They help from the initial research idea to the study design, giving feedback on aspects of the study that would affect young participants, such as time needed off school for clinic visits, writing patient information that is simple and easy to understand, looking at funding options, giving input to the design of devices, making the results of research easy to understand and looking at the best ways to display the results
  • Raised awareness of research to the public as well as professionals and ensured professionals listen to the voices of the young people their research will affect
  • Attended ethics committees and a commissioning group to look at the services provided in palliative care
  • Been involved in looking at formulations of medicines, such as flavours and size of tablets
  • Presented at medical conferences
  • Contributed to 11 journal publications and 4 currently being written
  • Designed a research wall at Birmingham Children’s Hospital
  • Gathered patient stories from young people taking part in research

The Network’s Clinical Director Professor Jeremy Kirk said: ‘It’s impossible to overestimate the contribution these young people have made to research in our region, and far beyond, in the past 10 years. Their passion, commitment and dedication in giving up their time

with this valuable work is admirable and to be commended and it is only right that we give our thanks for their hard work. Here’s to the next 10 years!’.


For further information contact: Claire Hall, Communications Lead on 01902 447207.