PHA helps celebrate ‘I Am Research’
Each year the HSC R&D Division of the Public Health Agency, along with Health and Social Care (HSC) partners, celebrates the ‘I Am Research’ campaign to mark International Clinical Trials Day. This year the national campaign on 25 May is running in collaboration with additional celebrations around the NHS’s 70th birthday.
‘I Am Research’ aims to build awareness of health and care research and its benefits and celebrate how it has shaped, and is continuing to shape, the NHS/HSC and outcomes for patients. Patients, the public and health and social care research professionals will have a chance to shout about how fantastic research is and the positive impact it has on people’s lives.
Every year, more than half a million people help the NHS to improve healthcare and develop life-saving treatments by taking part in health research.
This year the NHS is turning 70, the perfect opportunity to celebrate the role research plays in one of the nation’s most loved institutions. Since 2009, 90,000 HSC service users in Northern Ireland have helped improve healthcare and develop life-saving treatments by volunteering to take part in health and social care research. This research drives new and better treatments. We want to recognise both the contribution of colleagues in the NHS and get your help in driving new and better care for all our futures.
As part of the national NHS 70 celebrations, we’re asking people to get involved in research and help shape the next 70 years of the NHS. Help us to raise awareness about the campaign by downloading a copy of the ‘I Am Research’ leaflet and sending us a photo at your favourite Northern Irish landmark. Please send your photos and accompanying caption/article to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will include it on our website.
The key messages of the campaign for patients, carers and the public are:
● give the NHS a present to celebrate its 70th birthday by getting involved in research;
● ask your health and social care professionals about taking part in health research;
● shape the next 70 years of research by getting involved with us, regardless of whether you want to participate in a study.
Three local people who have taken part in research outline below why they became involved and the huge benefits this has brought.
Aidan Kearney from Ballycastle highlights: “After being involved in a clinical trial, my life has changed massively, I am fitter, stronger and healthier than ever before in my life. Being involved has given me a far better quality of life. I used to worry about the future, but don’t now. The future is bright and I have hope, which I never had before. Research did not just change my life, it saved my life”.
Margaret Grayson from Belfast stated: “As I went through my surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, I realised that all these treatment decisions were based on research. As my way of giving back for my care and treatment, I have been partnering with researchers for eight years. It is exciting to be involved, in a small part, in helping to improve and develop treatments for other people diagnosed with cancer. I believe research is part of excellence in healthcare.”
Gordon Kennedy from Belfast outlined his participation: “Research is an exciting journey, with new technologies enabling new discoveries and insights to be made across a broad range of disciplines on an ongoing basis. As a lay person, it has been my privilege over the last 15 years to participate in some small way on that journey.”
To find out about healthcare research of interest to you, visit www.ukctg.nihr.ac.uk
To find out more about research in Northern Ireland and explore opportunities for public involvement in health and social care research locally visit www.research.hscni.net
To register your interest in taking part in research in dementia visit www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk
Remember ‘it’s OK to ask’ your doctor, nurse or healthcare professional about the research opportunities available to you.