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Ageing and Dementia Research Matters - An event to showcase the Clinical Research Network's Ageing and Dementia Research in partnership with Voice North

On Tuesday 25th April 2017, the NIHR Clinical Research Network hosted the inaugural Ageing and Dementia Research Matters event, in collaboration with our colleagues at Voice North. This event showcased the Clinical Research Network’s Ageing and Dementia research to patients and public. The event took place at The Core, Science Central, Newcastle.

So how did this come about? Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) plays an important role in the NIHR Clinical Research Network. Understanding the significance of PPIE, we began to look at ways we could positively promote this, whilst also showcasing the Clinical Research Network’s latest, cutting-edge national and local Ageing and Dementia research. We began liaising with our colleagues at Voice North and began sharing ideas about what a successful PPIE event might look like. At the event, we wanted to demonstrate how we work hard to support and promote quality research and promote ways in which the public and patients can get involved in good quality clinical research. 

What happened on the day? On the day, we had a brilliant selection of speakers who actively contributed to the event. After teas, coffees and biscuits had been enjoyed on arrival, we started with an overview of the CRN, then two short sessions specifically focused on Ageing and Dementia, followed by an introduction to the James Lind Alliance. Then came the session that had the most positive feedback and was consistently rated as the favourite part of the event – the Study Showcase! Here, we had six unique studies from across the CRN Ageing and Dementia portfolios, with contributions from Dr James Frith, Dr Antoneta Granic, Dr Paul Donaghy, Dr Sarah Richardson, Bethany Bareham and Dr Andrew Byrne. One respondent wrote on their feedback form that it was “encouraging to know research is being done by intelligent, optimistic people”, another respondent was fascinated by the “exciting stuff that’s happening”. The quick-fire study showcase was followed by a hearty lunch where there was an opportunity to take a look at the stands and posters, as well as chat with the speakers. After lunch, there were sessions specifically related to how individuals could get actively involved in research, hosted by Tracy Scott and Dr Sheila Kennedy. Join Dementia Research was also showcased by Patient Representative Andrew Brown. Finally, there was a Question and Answer session with some of the expert speakers from the day. This was a well-received, interactive session which allowed the audience to ask any questions they might have about Ageing and Dementia Research. 

 L-R Ella Anderson, Laura Kirkbride and Elaine Stephenson from the NIHR Clinical Research Network

What next? Ella Anderson has been analysing feedback received from the event’s evaluation forms. Information from the feedback will help inform future events as well as other Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement related activities. Ella is also working on a simple event plan so that the event can be easily replicated by other Clinical Research Network colleagues nationally should they also wish to host a similar PPIE-based event.

Ella Anderson
NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN)

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