A research panel leader from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals has won a North West research award for her Outstanding Contribution to Patient and Public Involvement (PPI).
May Griffiths from Blackpool scooped her award at the North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards on Monday, November 30.
May has been involved in PPI research for more than 10 years. She has been instrumental in PPI, not only in Blackpool, but also on a regional and national scale.
May said: “I’m absolutely amazed because I’m being rewarded for doing something that has given me a life and a lot of satisfaction for so many years.
“I’m totally amazed but delighted.”
A multi-disciplinary team from the Trust was also a runner-up for one of the awards.
Led by Consultant Cardiologist Dr Alison Seed, the team working on the ‘INOVATE-HF’ study trialled a new device called ‘Cardio-Fit’ for heart patients.
The team was a runner-up for the Life Sciences Achievement Award.
Michelle Stephens, Head of the Trust’s Research and Development, said: “We nominated May for all the Patient and Public Involvement work she has done here at the Trust but also regionally with Manchester University and with the NHS Research and Development forums nationally.
“May’s enthusiasm, her drive and her knowledge of PPI and how to engage members of the public with research are inspirational.
“Sitting on the Research and Development Committee here at the Trust, May has worked with us to create our patient and carer research panel.
“This panel brings together patients, carers and members of the public to help shape research here in the Trust.
“May’s network of people that she works with both regionally and nationally on PPI has helped to bring other people to the Trust to become involved in our research.
“We see May and the other members of our panel as core members of our research team.”
May won her award for an entry entitled: ‘A Carer’s Journey of Involvement in Research in Blackpool.’
The runners-up were Jennifer Preston from Alder Hey Clinical Research Facility for her contributions to PPI locally and nationally and Mersey Care NHS Trust for a project entitled ‘Innovate Dementia’.
Michelle was also full of praise for the staff who worked on the ‘INOVATE-HF’ ‘CardioFit’ study.
She said: “Our heart failure, ENT, pacing teams and many others have been involved in the Cardio-Fit trial.
“What was unique about the project was that many different teams worked together for the first time on the trial. It was an opportunity to work collaboratively around research.
“We wanted to demonstrate that research is not necessarily just across a single clinical speciality but can span many different clinical areas.
“It can create new opportunities for our patients to join trials.
“Collaborative teamwork across the different clinical specialities has allowed research to become embedded and a wider number of colleagues supporting patients in many ways.
“The INOVATE-HF study has enabled us to provide a better patient experience through effective teamwork.
“Research patients have supported the study not only by taking part but also through speaking to other patients and sharing their experiences. This is a model which has proved successful and we will be taking this approach forward.”
The winner in this category was Layton Medical Centre for a project entitled ‘Advancing tomorrow’s care by leading today’s research’. The other runner-up was AstraZeneca/Taskforce nursing team for the ‘Me and My COPD’ project.
It was a successful night for researchers across Lancashire as a number of teams and individuals scooped awards.
Michelle added: “We are pleased for our other colleagues in Lancashire who won awards and were shortlisted.”
Layton Medical Centre in Blackpool won the Life Sciences Award, University of Central Lancashire PhD student, Nadeem Gire, was Research Student of the Year, Dr Umesh Chauhan of NHS East Lancs Clinical Commissioning Group received the Partner Team Leadership Award and Katrina Rigby from the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was awarded the title of Clinical Research Individual of the Year.
The North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards reward the most inspiring individuals and organisations working in the healthcare sector.
The awards are a collaboration between the NWC AHSN, CRN: North West Coast (CRN NWC) and NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care North West Coast (CLAHRC NWC). There were 120 entrants in 12 categories.
The awards event took place at Chester Racecourse with 200 guests and was hosted by NHS commentator, broadcaster and speaker Roy Lilley.
Dr Liz Mear, chief executive of the North West Coast Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), said: “Congratulations to all our worthy winners.
“It has been another fantastic year for the North West Coast region with real strides being made to improve and encourage innovation in the healthcare sector.
“This event has highlighted the sheer strength and quality of the healthcare sector in Lancashire.”
Jacqueline Pirmohamed, Chief Operating Officer of the National Institute for Health Research CRN North West Coast, added: “This event was a fantastic celebration of the region’s achievements and success relating to research and innovation and I would like to personally congratulate all of the winners and finalists across the 12 categories.”
Professor Mark Gabbay, Director of CLAHRC North West Coast, said: “I am delighted to acknowledge and help celebrate the fantastic research being done across the North West Coast to help reduce health inequalities.
“We will continue to promote collaborative approaches with our partners to ensure that research is focused on the end results of an enhanced patient experience and ultimately improved health.”