I’ve been on Public Advisory Board (PAB) for almost a year, and it’s unbelievable how fast time has flown by. I’ve worked in Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) for a few years, and this role has been unlike the others. It’s a very strategic role that relies on you drawing from your prior knowledge and experience to give feedback and come up with new ideas. The thing is, quite often, we don’t realise that discussions we had with family, friends, and members of the community about different things to do with health data would ever become relevant in creating change or laying the foundation for future work. Similarly, there are times when we wish we could change the way topics are approached, or processes are executed. Being on PAB allows you to do that.

So, what do we do as members of the Public Advisory Board?

There is a wide variety of opportunities to be able to have your say within the organisation. For example, we’ve designed questionnaires to learn more about PPIE strategies across organisations that work with health data. We commented on the future of HDR UK and what we deemed to be priorities within the organisation. We filmed videos explaining our views on different projects. We gave feedback on presentations from PhD students, research staff and senior members of the organisation. And a whole lot more.

I’ve mentioned some (of the many!) things we’ve been get involved in by being on PAB. Some of you may be concerned about the time commitments, but don’t worry because there’s flexibility in the role too. Many tasks are available to sign up for if it is something that you are interested in. The team also encourage you to say what specific interests you have and find ways for you to contribute within those areas.

What makes the Public Advisory Board unique?

One of the things that makes the PAB special is the people. Both from the organisation and fellow PAB members too. Our team has such a wide breadth of experience which really shines through in our meetings and the projects we work on together. This really makes a difference, as everyone has something to bring to the table that others overlook or perhaps never even consider. And you do too.

We need more patient, carer and public voices from a variety of different backgrounds. Don’t underestimate how much you can contribute to the discussion and the relevance of your experiences.

The team are available if you have any questions. Definitely get in touch (involvement@hdruk.ac.uk). We hope to see you on the Public Advisory Board in the near future.

Join our Public Advisory Board by 21 November 2022