Amplifying the Voice of the Public

This post is written by Jane Rigney. Jane is a Clinical Project Manager in the Cancer Prevention Group. She oversees numerous cancer screening projects, our Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) initiative and general communications.

Olivia Newton-John amplified the voice of those with cancer…

Olivia Newton-John gave a voice to those with cancer and highlighted the issues faced by survivors. She advocated for the need to find kinder treatments to improve the quality of life of those living with and beyond the disease. By amplifying the voice of survivors, she was able to drive research to meet their needs.

Our aim is the same within our trials team. We want to involve the wider public in the research process to ensure we’re measuring what matters to patients and the public when it comes to cancer screening.

Stories like Newton-John’s (and many other celebrities) have encouraged people to take part in cancer screening and have mobilised research that meets the needs of patients and members of the public. These high-profile cases remind us of the personal impact of cancer and the importance of keeping patient and public perspectives at the heart of our research. The Cancer Prevention Group (CPG) is committed to giving a voice to the public to ensure our research prioritises issues that matter. We involve people from all backgrounds in our work to make sure we’re asking the right research questions and running our studies in the right way. In research this is known as Patient and Public Involvement (PPI).

Patient and Public Involvement in the Cancer Prevention Group

Our research includes projects that evaluate current approaches to cancer screening; identify potential new early cancer detection technologies; and find new ways to reduce the risk of cancer.

We are proud of our track record of research that has changed cancer screening guidelines and policy nationally and internationally. The nature of our research means that the results are relevant to a large part of the general population. Therefore, we need to make sure our research is always focused on the needs of the public. To make this happen we need members of the public to contribute to how our research is designed, conducted and shared.

One of the best ways for us to do this is to work in partnership with members of the public when planning and undertaking our research. This allows us to understand and incorporate the views, experiences, and expectations of the general public into how we are working to prevent cancer.

We have now established our very own Patient and Public Involvement platform from which we can make links with people; people from all different backgrounds, who have different lived experiences and different hopes for the future.

We are passionate about making these unique links with the public and have been very lucky to get to know very inspirational, interesting people

Here are a couple of quotes from our current PPI members:

We are always keen to hear from people, from every walk of life. We all have our own story.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Research is for all. No matter what people’s backgrounds, values and needs are they must be included. This principle is at the forefront of our PPI initiative. We strive to be inclusive, diverse and open to everyone. Whatever someone’s background is, whatever their values are and whatever needs they have, we are interested in speaking to them.

We make every effort to reach out to people all around the country via numerous avenues i.e. community centres, pharmacies, GP practices, job centres etc.; to ensure we can make links with as many people from as many different walks of life as possible.

We encourage anyone from the general population who can spare some time to get involved.

No previous experience or scientific knowledge is needed.


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