This annual event, showcasing the latest in research, development and innovation from across the Trust, was an opportunity for patients and members of the public to find out how researchers across the region’s hospitals are working to better understand and transform healthcare for all.
The event took place on Friday 19th May and was the first Research Showcase organised after the COVID-19 pandemic and the first one the BRC attended since the renewed NIHR funding. The team used many new research themes to present ambitions for the next five years, as well as highlighting work around patient and public involvement and increasing diversity and representation in clinical research.
With researchers spread across the Queen Elizabeth and Heartlands Hospitals, the teams engaged with patients, members of the public, colleagues, and clinical staff with an interest in learning about research and how to get involved. A BRC stand at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital was also awarded joint second place in the Best Stand competition.
Attendees included Professor Phil Newsome, Director of the Birmingham BRC, and Byron Batten, Head of Inclusion-Improvement, Communications and Engagement at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
Mr Byron Batten said: “Research isn’t spoken about so often in a public setting. Events like the Research Showcase are significant because they bring together a range of different people – patients, staff, researchers, doctors, and nurses – in the same space, and allow all types of people to understand our work. The Showcase enabled opportunities for connection, for different stakeholders to get involved, and it made us think much more collectively and diversely about ways to engage with communities.”
What I enjoyed the most about the Research Showcase was witnessing the interaction between the teams that deliver research, and the patients and the public walking through. It was great to see such a positive spirit of collaboration and enthusiasm about how we can collectively make a difference.Professor Phil Newsome, Director of the NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre
Several members of Patient and Public Involvement Groups were also in attendance, to tell their own experience of research first hand and connect with people with understanding, encouragement and enthusiasm.
Diederike, public contributor and member of the BRC Muscle Health PPI group, commented: “The NHS is not all about coming to hospital or going to your GP: there’s research being done in the background, and that’s how we discover new conditions, new treatments, new solutions to problems. Events like the Research Showcase are a powerful way to tell the general public that research is happening, and that they can get involved – it’s not only the scientists, the researchers, the nurses and doctors. Anybody can get involved in research, get their voice heard, and shape the researchers’ work to meet the needs of the people it ultimately benefits.”
Richard Allen, public contributor and member of the BRC Liver & GI PPI group, said: “The Research Showcase is important because it’s a unique chance to talk to the public. Every person that comes into hospital for treatment has got a story to tell, and this gives them an opportunity to use their voice to be part of something, give back some of the goodness that the Hospital has given them, and hopefully support others along their journey.”