Research Friends scheme launched by Medway NHS Foundation

Date: 11 November 2022

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People living in Medway and Swale are being encouraged to sign up and become Research Friends of Medway NHS Foundation Trust.

The Trust’s Research and Innovation Team recently launched the scheme so residents living in the two communities can help shape and have their say on future research projects, get involved with events in the community and at Medway Maritime Hospital, find out the results of trials undertaken and opportunities to take part in life-changing research studies.

Laura Adams, Patient and Public Engagement and Involvement (PPIE) facilitator for Research and Innovation, said: “Evidence shows that research active trusts, like Medway NHS Foundation Trust, deliver a higher quality of care to their patients. That’s because through research we can offer treatments that otherwise would not be available and ensure we are offering the most up-to-date treatments to patients.

“We want to place research at the heart of everything we do. Without research we would be blind within healthcare as we wouldn’t know how to treat new diseases and viruses or the long term effects on people, but importantly we cannot carry out research without patient involvement.

“By launching Research Friends we hope it will spark an interest in people living in Medway and Swale to find out more and get involved with research at the Trust in as many ways as possible - whether that is taking part in a study, sharing results with friends and family, guiding study design or influencing the future of research at Medway.”

Everyone who signs up to become a Research Friend will also receive a quarterly newsletter with all the latest research news and recruiting trials.

Becoming a ‘Research Friend’ is completely voluntary, confidential and without obligation. People can sign up by visiting the Research and Innovation Team’s new website, which has been created as a one-stop shop for patients, the public, the healthcare industry and staff, to find out about all aspects of research activities undertaken by the Trust.

Dr Edyta McCallum PhD, Head of Research and Innovation at the Trust, said: “We hope the website will generate a better understanding and more interest in the research undertaken at Medway NHS Foundation Trust.

“It will benefit members of staff as they can easily find information on our processes, how they can develop their research projects or get involved with ongoing projects, access documents, and find team members and their contact details.

“Individuals in the healthcare industry can also find information regarding the type of research we deliver and how they can get in contact. Finally, the website is a way for the general public to find information about the research performed at the Trust, and how it benefits the Trust and healthcare in general. They can also find information about what participating in research means, how it can offer broader treatment choices, how they can get involved either by fundraising or by providing input on potential future studies, and how we aim to engage with historically underserved populations.”  

  • Summary:

    People living in Medway and Swale are being encouraged to sign up and become Research Friends of Medway NHS Foundation Trust.