Each year, we organise at least four public engagement events. In our third year (2016-2017):
Two of our research theme leaders, Dr Richard Pebody and Dr Katja Hoschler, and our research nurse presented at a career in science evening at one of the LAIV study sites on the 15th September. They presented to parents and students aged 15-18 years old on influenza and vaccinations. The students were extremely engaged and asked appropriate questions to all three presenters. As a result, we have 2 students scheduled to come to HPRU for work experience in summer 2017.
Our quarterly research symposium series continues together with our Annual HPRU Research Symposium, with invitations extended to all our ISAB, patient representatives, collaborators and colleagues, to allow our researchers to disseminate and discuss their project findings.
Our Research Assistant/ PPI/PE lead and our Research Manager worked as “shop assistants” for the National Heart and Lung Institute Convenience Store at the Imperial Festival on 8/05/16. We talked to the members of the public about the various lung infections and heart diseases including Tuberculosis and Flu. The festival attendees asked questions and were actively engaged with our research. The NHLI Convenience store also used interactive demonstrations, exhibits and activities to show existing and future therapeutic interventions.
Professor Ajit Lalvani was a key member on the panel at the “Engagement to End” TB event at the University of East London. This was part of the Voices for London Festival which was attended by community members of East London. Helen Piotrowski (Clinical Research Nurse) also attended as an audience participant.
Members of the research team and theme leaders have an excellent track record in active engagement with patients and public. Professor Ajit Lalvani and Dr Luis Berrocal Almanza have presented ‘lessons learned’ from our stakeholder events with third sector organisations in the development of COMBAT, our study plan for community-based actions to control TB. This has been presented at The Well North Conference in Manchester on 01/07/2016 and Barcelona Public Health Service on 22/11/16.
Dominik Zenner (PHE Lead for TB screening) was interviewed by the TV presenter Victoria MacDonald for a Channel 4 News special edition on the National TB Strategy. Furthermore, Luis Berrocal Almanza (HPRU TB epidemiologist (studies patterns, causes and effects of health and disease) and Helen Piotrowski (Clinical Research Nurse) had an informal discussion with Victoria MacDonald prior to this, and helped facilitate an interview with Dr Duncan Trathen, Lead GP at Newham Transitional GP Practice Trust, a GP practice in East London offering specialist respiratory services due to the high incidence of TB in the area. This was aired on Channel 4 news on the 20/10/2016.
Dr Oisin Wall, the leading Research Curator for the new £24m Medicine Galleries at the Science Museum, interviewed HPRU staff to use our specialist input and knowledge of TB and the history of respiratory disease to inform the development of the new galleries which will open in 2019. Helen Piotrowski facilitated a visit for Dr Wall to our collaborators at The Shrewsbury Road Surgery, a frontline GP clinic in East London which again treats patients with a high burden of the respiratory diseases we are researching. This visit enabled Dr Wall and our researchers to learn more about the real-life issues driving demand for NHS respiratory services. Further work and collaboration on this project is expected.