If research funding can sometimes appear like a poker game, what cards do we hold as a patients and the public?

I once went to Las Vegas. It is a long, long time ago now. But I remember it being a very strange experience. Everything is turned in on itself. Away from the inhospitable heat of the sidewalks. Or, more accurately, everything - from hotel bedrooms to burger joints and cocktail bars - is turned to... Continue Reading →

‘Monsters Inc’ holds the key to assessing research impact #REF2021 #OxfordImpact

(Warning several spoiler alerts!) If the sight and sound of research institutions and organisations bellowing about their impact on life and the universe has a familiar ring to it, you’d be right. The reference point you are looking for - but have understandably mislaid - is ‘Monsters Inc.’ The brilliant 2001 Pixar animation in which... Continue Reading →

Billy and Charlotte Caldwell’s story highlights wider issues to do with patient experience

I was delighted to see that Billy Caldwell had been discharged from hospital yesterday. This, after the Home Office granted a 20-day licence for the cannabis oil that alleviates the seizures associated with his epilepsy. The substance had been confiscated on his arrival in the UK from Canada with his mother, Charlotte, last week. Shortly... Continue Reading →

NIHR publishes latest data on patient experience in research, provides patient pathway to study success @NIHRCRN @NHSRDForum #clinicaltrials

Hats off to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Networks who published the latest data on patient experience in research this week. They have now been tracking patient views on participation for three years and with each report we gain a more informed picture of what matters to them. And with the... Continue Reading →

What have Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) ever done for you and I? #AHSNs

I have written a fair bit about Academic Health Sciences Networks (AHSNs) in the past. Not always favourably I'll admit. But that was then and this is now. I am pleased to report that, as of May, the 15 AHSN have been re-licensed/re-designated/re-booted (select as necessary) for another five years with NHS Chief Executive, Simon Stevens,... Continue Reading →

Thought for the day: a schoolfriend’s untimely death highlights the importance of choice to our dying day

A dear schoolfriend of mine, Sara, will be laid to rest today. We found each other on Facebook three years ago after a 30 year hiatus. I enjoyed our mutual 'likes' of one another's quirky musings, the various photographs of holidays and birthdays, and the occasional sharing of news about our respective families.  I had... Continue Reading →

Public involvement will be crucial to new NIHR ARCs and the research implementation agenda #CLAHRCs #ARCs @OfficialNIHR @NIHRINVOLVE @ClahrcP

It doesn't matter where you are in the world patients and carers have the same questions about research. This week I am in Sydney, Australia, at the invitation of the Australia Dementia Forum hosted by the National Institute for Dementia Research.  It has been a fascinating two days. Most of all I have enjoyed meeting... Continue Reading →

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