CMFT Public Programmes team member speaks at NIHR event to share inspiring ways of involving the public in clinical research

A member of the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) Public Programmes team has spoken at an NIHR event aimed at inspiring solutions in public involvement in research.

Suzanne Parsons, Patient Involvement and Research Project Manager, was on hand at the NIHR Research Design Service North West (RDS NW) session on Tuesday 6th September.

The one-day event, at The Studio in Manchester, provided researchers and members of the community with the opportunity to explore and share effective ways of involving the public in health and social care research.

Participants were able to gain a broader understanding of opportunities for public involvement at different stages of research processes; challenges in public involvement in health research and ways to overcome these, and innovative ways of designing meaningful public involvement in research.

Suzanne presented a talk on the Young People’s Opinions Underlying Rheumatology Research (YOURR) project; around involving young people with rheumatic conditions in research priority setting.

Members of the CMFT Public Programmes team, the Centre for Musculoskeletal Research at The University of Manchester and the NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) are currently running the YOURR programme, on behalf of the Barbara Ansell National Network for Adolescent Rheumatology (BANNAR).

Researchers have been holding focus group discussions across the UK with people aged between 11 and 24 years old, who got involved through rheumatology clinics of BANNAR members and national rheumatology charities including Arthritis Care. Data collection for the project is now complete and during the next stage, researchers will be recruiting young people with rheumatic conditions to an involvement group.

Suzanne is the study’s Research Associate and said:

I am really pleased to have been invited to speak at a prestigious local event, regarding a topic that I am so passionate about.

“There have been no studies exploring the research priorities of young people with long term conditions including rheumatic diseases to date, and this is why it is so important to undertake research in this area and to raise awareness of it being done.”

Other speakers on the day highlighted positive public involvement in research including in the CaFI (Culturally-adapted Family Intervention) study, and the Identifying Continence OptioNs after Stroke (ICONS) trial. There were also opportunities for group work and networking to share ideas and best practice.

Find out more about the YOURR project and read the study protocol.