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Seeking volunteers to support health care research

Published : 23/11/20 | Categories: Volunteering |

The SUPER research group needs new members to help researchers with key aspects of their work.

Health and care research in Wales (and beyond) increasingly includes volunteers from the public within the teams who plan and carry out studies. People who use health and care services bring their experience-based expertise to help academic, clinical, and managerial staff to plan and carry out research projects.

Helping research by being involved in a research team is a different role from being a research participant, where you provide data to answer a research question.

SUPER is a group of public members and patients who work with PRIME Centre Wales on research about primary and emergency care. SUPER stands for Service Users for Primary and Emergency care Research.

PRIME Centre Wales is a collaboration of researchers from four universities, undertaking internationally relevant research to benefit patient care http://www.primecentre.wales/

SUPER members help researchers by providing lay perspectives on developing, conducting and disseminating research about primary and emergency care services. This involvement helps to improve the relevance, quality and dissemination of research on these topics.

SUPER meets quarterly, through meetings in person and online via Zoom. At these meetings, researchers and SUPER members discuss research projects which are being developed or are underway. These are the sorts of points which SUPER members have made.

  • They asked researchers to include the views of people from minority ethnic groups and those with hearing and sight problems when investigating on-line consultations with GPs
  • They agreed it was important to help families who are caring for loved ones dying at home. They felt that many bereaved carers, invited to talk about the support they needed, would find it helpful to talk even when emotions still felt fresh. They encouraged researchers not to avoid interviewing them.
  • They queried whether people perceive eye care as health or fashion, when commenting on a study about accessing opticians

SUPER is recruiting new members to join the group. They are seeking people with the following skills, attitudes and experiences:

  • You have used primary or emergency care services, or you care(d) for someone who has needed these services
  • You support the idea that patients and public members should be involved in research – that means helping to plan and carry out research and publicise findings
  • You can send and receive emails and take part in discussions, including via zoom or other online video platforms
  • You can attend daytime, weekday meetings. Online meetings usually last about two and a half hours, in the morning or afternoon. In-person meetings run between 10.30am and 2.30pm, with refreshment breaks and lunch. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been holding their meetings online through zoom but hope to have face to face meetings again in the future.

People with different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, those who are working and those who are aged 18-45 are particularly welcomed.

If you are interested please email Bridie Evans b.a.evans@swansea.ac.uk. Please tell us what you think you can contribute to SUPER, in 200 words.

More information about helping research in Wales is available at https://healthandcareresearchwales.org/public/help-research.

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