Cheadle Hulme School students add their voice to key NHS research in Manchester
Sixth Form students at Cheadle Hulme School are contributing to
vital research in experimental medicine as part of a new public and
patient involvement and engagement group at the Central Manchester
University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Tom Semple and Lizzy Wasson, currently completing their A Level
examinations at the independent school were selected by the NIHR / Wellcome Trust Manchester Clinical Research
Facility (CRF) to add a young person's perspective to the
group, helping the CRF improve the patient and public's experience
of taking part in clinical research.
The CRF is a purpose built facility, located on the hospital
campus, supporting world-class experimental medicine in adults and
The CRF Involvement and Engagement Group, which Tom and Lizzy
have been part of since the beginning of the year, aims to engage
members of the public of all ages with research and improve the
experience for those taking part in studies.
It includes representation from adult and children's nurses,
senior managers, administration and communication teams, and the
two Sixth Form students.
Head Boy, Tom, who is looking to pursue a career in medicine on
leaving Cheadle Hulme School, said: "We were able to talk a lot
about the patient experience in the CRF and discussed great new
ideas for how to make that experience better for everyone.
"Contributing to the group has opened my eyes to the extra
possibilities a career in medicine can offer. I'd never
appreciated how big and important an area clinical research is and
just how many people are involved in its improvement."
Deputy Head Girl and budding Paediatrician, Lizzy added: "I was
able to talk about my experience with the group in my university
interviews this year; it was great to have it on my personal
statement, showing a greater understanding of the wider medical
field, not just clinical work.
"I felt that the group really valued our input and the
alternative perspective we offered. It was great to be
working so closely with doctors and nurses as well as getting the
chance to look round the children's research ward and see how play
therapy is used with young people."
Strengthening links between the School and the Trust, two
additional students have also been given the privilege of taking
part in work experience in the children's clinical research
facility, learning about roles, the different types of research and
contributing to specific projects within the children's
Gail Woodburn, Lead Nurse for Research from the CRF said: "It is
fantastic to have two young people sit on our involvement and
engagement group. They bring a very different perspective to our
work and ensure any communications we produce are relevant for
young people. They also contribute to the development of projects,
looking at how we gain feedback from people participating in
research at the CRF.
"Being a committee member involves preparing for meetings,
reading papers, commenting on strategy development and contributing
to discussion and debates. This provides the students with the
opportunity to have a voice and gain experience in meetings
management, as well as contribute to their on-going personal
development in readiness for university and future careers."
Experimental medicine, also known as early phase clinical
research, is undertaken to better understand the cause of disease
and test new treatments.
It has been proven that increased engagement and involvement in
research by public and patients in improves patient experience and
increases study recruitment and retention.
Two further Sixth Form students will replace Tom and Lizzy on
the CRF Involvement and Engagement Group once they have completed
their examinations at Cheadle Hulme School.