DBTH appoints Patient Research Ambassador

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) have just recruited their first Patient Research Ambassador, Peter Abell.

Peter was elected as Public Governor at the Trust in 2017, adding to his duties in promoting the importance of clinical research. By undertaking this role, Peter will work alongside the organisation’s Research and Development (R&D) team, engaging with the public on their behalf. The aim behind this is to encourage local people to become involved in research programmes and to make them aware of studies currently running at DBTH.

A key part of this will centre on communication, as Peter will be liaising with visitors in the Trust’s outpatient clinics and other areas. To that end, he will be chatting with members of the public, asking them questions in order to gauge awareness, signposting them to upcoming opportunities and generally highlighting all of the exciting developments and innovations that are in the pipeline.

Speaking about this, Peter said: ‘‘The R&D department have accomplished some amazing things over the last few years and I am delighted to be involved. Research is how care and treatment of patients is improved and in this Hospital Trust, over a thousand patients have joined in. My role is helping to promote the involvement of patients so that even more research can be done. ’’

To instigate his important work, Peter has been touring DBTH’s various wards and areas, so that he can identify any locations or scenarios where there is scope for visitors to be engaged more directly.  For example, he has been on the lookout for areas where leaflets and posters advertising the benefits of getting involved in clinical research can be displayed more prominently. This thorough assessment has taken place over the last few weeks, with Peter exploring the hospital sites at Doncaster, Bassetlaw and Mexborough, to gain a clearer picture of research’s visibility at the Trust.

Going forward, a core aspect of Peter’s voluntary role will be bridging the gap between the R&D team and the general public, thereby giving both parties a greater insight into how they can collaborate. Of course, as time goes on, and the organisation’s research strategy is delivered, it is expected that his responsibilities will continue to evolve.

Quick to praise the ambassador for his continued enthusiasm and dedication, Suzy Brain England OBE, Chair for DBTH, said: ‘We are highly committed to R&D here at the Trust, which is why we have over 200 studies taking place right now. This behind-the-scenes work is an often overlooked aspect of what we offer as a healthcare provider, but it is absolutely vital, as it enables us to improve the other clinical services that we offer. Introducing a Patient Research Ambassador is so important to us for this very reason, as we understand the need to engage with our visitors about R&D opportunities. I am therefore thrilled to see that Peter has made a good start on this front and I cannot wait to see the outcomes of his efforts.’’

If you would like more information about the DBTH research team or Peter’s role please email: dbth.clinicalresearch@nhs.net or peter.abell@nhs.net