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Putting patients at the heart of our research

During the Annual Primary Angioplasty Conference held at Harefield Hospital in September 2014, senior cardiovascular research nurse, Paula Rogers, spoke about the importance of patient involvement in research. This year’s Conference which is held over three days was the first in which a day had been solely dedicated to patients. 

Dr Miles Dalby, clinical lead and course director, explained why he was keen that research was a key topic:  “We believe that patients are at the heart of our clinical and research programs. As such it is essential that we engage and listen as much as possible. We very much hope that this full live interactive day committed entirely to the patients and public will strengthen this growing relationship and look forward to repeating it again next year.”

Paula discussed the value the NHS places on involving patients, carers and the public in research decision making and the Trust’s commitment to this. She said “We need to make sure our research focusses on health benefits that are important to patients, and our studies are well designed to meet the needs of people taking part. The only way we can truly achieve this is by involving patients in developing our research ideas and study design. ” 

Paula Rogers
Paula Rogers presenting at the conference

Paula gave an overview of the research areas across the Trust where patients and the public can get involved.  She also spoke about the support available to heart researchers and patients provided by the NIHR cardiovascular biomedical research unit.

Over 100 people attended the Conference’s Patient Day, providing an opportunity to find out patient and public views on recruiting patients into heart attack research. Approaching patients and gaining consent in emergency settings creates unique challenges and dilemmas for researchers.  Conference visitors were invited to provide feedback using a questionnaire about their views on consenting to this type of research. Findings will help researchers better understand the patient perspective on taking part in research in emergency settings.

In October 2013, Paula was awarded the Foundation of Nursing Studies (FoNS) Patients First Programme bursary. Working with Harefield Hospital’s cardiac catheter laboratory team and acute cardiac care unit, her project looked at the impact that taking part in research has upon a patient’s emotional wellbeing. Paula said: “Having a heart attack is often an emotionally poignant event in a person’s life and patients referred to Harefield Hospital are frequently asked to participate in one of our research studies. Our goal is to assess a patient’s treatment and research experiences, and how these experiences intersect with the perceptions of staff.” 

To find out more about our active research click here and for resources for involving patients and the public contact Julia CoffeyFor more details on the eighth Annual Primary Angioplasty Conference click here

October 2014

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