Ros and Noreen
With more than 300 research studies currently taking place within the hospital, research is central to the way services are developed and excellent patient care is delivered at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH). The hospital is now looking for volunteers to get involved in raising awareness of the research taking place at the hospital by becoming Patient Research Ambassadors or PRAs.
Patient Research Ambassadors help promote research, improve understanding and make research more patient-focussed. They can be a patient, service user, or lay person who is enthusiastic about health research and willing to communicate that to other patients and the public, as well as healthcare professionals. Taking part in research can be as simple as providing feedback on your care.
At NNUH, PRAs get involved in various research based activities; interacting with patients, reviewing study documentation and representing the Trust at events and stakeholder groups. PRAs will take part in the NNUH volunteer induction in preparation for undertaking their important role.
Noreen Neal currently volunteers as a PRA at NNUH and is passionate about raising awareness of research.
She says: “We benefit today from all the research that has taken place in the past, antibiotics are a great example; and as science progresses, research is integral to ensuring we can use these developments to improve patient care.
“The PRA role is a really broad one and volunteers can get involved in research in a variety of different ways. These include interaction with patients, involvement in preparing leaflets for patients and attending meetings with counterparts from other Trusts to share ideas.”
Another NNUH PRA, Ros Bailey, decided to get involved due to a relative having benefited from the outcome of research.
Ros says: “From a personal perspective, we all know someone with a medical condition or someone who has suffered from illness during their life and the benefits that historical research has had for these people are huge.
“Research really does change people’s lives for the better, not only those participating but also others suffering from similar conditions who will benefit from the resulting advancements in treatments in the future.”
Both Ros and Noreen have been involved in a range of activities as part of their roles as Patient Research Ambassadors. Highlights include attending events marking International Clinical Trials Day, held this year on May 21st, and speaking with patients about potential involvement in NNUH research.
If you are interested in becoming a Patient Research Ambassador at NNUH, or would like more information on the role, please contact our Research and Development Office on 01603 289808 or via R&DOffice@nnuh.nhs.uk