Sonia Patton who has experienced cancer as a patient and other long-term health issues, is a passionate advocate for the patient and public voice and that opportunities are created to ensure their parity of participation in research decisions that impact their treatment and care.

Sonia is particularly keen to promote involvement in quality-of-life studies that are inclusive of the patient journey and daily struggles when living with long-term conditions.

Sonia has worked in the private sector in procurement and manufacturing roles, and the voluntary mental health sector in project management. Sonia has a Master’s degree from Ulster University in the Development and Co-production of Social Care Research and sits on core health and social care research groups in Northern Ireland as a service user partner. She helped co-produce and co-deliver a course for service users and carers  titled “Getting Involved in Research” in partnership with the Health and Social Care Research lead, Queens University and Ulster University along with community and voluntary sector partners. Sonia is also an associate trainer and facilitator with regional mental health organisations, Action Mental Health and AWARE.

Sonia currently works in an advisory capacity with many organisations that rely on health data and recognise its significance in research to improve outcomes for all patients. This includes CanGene CanVar patient reference panel, the Clinical Research Committee at Cancer Research UK, National Cancer Research Institute Consumer Forum and most recently HDRUK as a member of Public Advisory Board.

Living in Strabane, a rural town in North West of Northern Ireland, Sonia is also a member of the Northern Ireland Cancer Research Consumer Forum (NICRCF) and Patient Involving Enhancing Research (PIER). She has a particular interest in working on strategies and approaches to promote equality in community engagement.

These experiences have helped her understand the very diverse UK research landscape and she enjoys learning from and working with all contributors.