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Case study: Sue McGill: Change comes about through research

Patient Research Ambassadors are our public champions. They help promote health research in their local communities. This voluntary position is supported by our local engagement teams.

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Sue answers our questions about her experience of being a Patient Research Ambassador

Please tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Sue McGill, I am a semi-retired community nurse from Sussex and I have been nursing for over 35 years. When working, I am Clinical Lead for Community Nurses at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.

How did you first hear about Patient Research Ambassadors?

I have known Linda Folkes for many years and she approached me about becoming a PRA. Linda is a clinical trials nurse and is also the patient research ambassador lead at my local hospital in Worthing.

What made you decide to become a Patient Research Ambassador?

As well as being a nurse I have been a patient cared for within the NHS and without research would I still be alive? Research has touched my life and I have the time to volunteer as I am semi-retired and I thought I could give something back. Being a PRA is something nice to do and something I choose to do, rather than doing it because I have to for work.

Why do you think NHS research is important?

My background is in community nursing and I appreciate and understand how much research has impacted my practice through the years. Change comes about through research.

What activities have you been involved with?

I presented at an in-house training programme for staff at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - the ‘Evidence Based Practice – The Patient Perspective’ learning module in February, I spoke from the perspective on a nurse, patient, researcher and PRA. Linda and I worked together on the presentation and we were both surprised by what we used to do as nurses and what we do now. I also helped facilitate two workshop sessions about research at the trust staff conference.

What would you say to others who are considering getting involved in research?

I would say to others to give it a go. The way patients are treated can only progress through research and by people volunteering their time and commitment to help.