David Batchelor, Patient Research Ambassador from the East Midlands

David's Research Journey: Find out about David's role as a Patient Research Ambassador

Date: 12 March 2019

Please tell us a bit about yourself

My name is David Batchelor. I am 62, registered disabled and until 2009 was an Engineering Technician, when an industrial accident ended my career and my working life. I am now a volunteer in various roles in the NHS.

How did you first hear about Patient Research Ambassadors?

I first heard about the Patient Research Ambassador Initiative when I was invited to and attended an event hosted by the East Midlands Academy for Science and Health Network (EMASHN) in 2016. The event was all about volunteering within the NHS and I came away exhilarated; this was just what I needed to drag me out of the deeply depressed state I was in.

What made you decide to become a Patient Research Ambassador?

Of all the opportunities at the event, I thought I was best suited to becoming a Patient Research Ambassador. I had completed and passed all the tests on the European Research Ambassador Programme’s website and thought that this, combined with my all my past experience as a patient taking part in several studies, would qualify me to become a PRA. I signed up through the PRA website and towards the end of 2017 found the contact I needed to move forward.

Why do you think NHS research is important?

Research in the NHS has great value, with research studies often leading to new and improved treatments and outcomes. It can also act to offset drug costs when done in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies. The added bonus is that it sets challenges for the excellent minds that we have in the NHS and our universities, letting them use their expertise to solve some of the great challenges we face. Joining a research study can benefit you and patients in the future and is a practical way to give something back.

Also it is our NHS - and we need to support it, not just in research.

What activities have you been involved with?

I have taken part in several research studies related to conditions I have including heart disease, COPD, hearing loss, Thyroidism, a severe loss of brain cells and stage 3 kidney disease. These have mostly been studies within the NHS, although I have also done some with private companies.

Using my experience of research to give a patient voice and raise awareness of opportunities amongst patients and the public, I have:

  • Taken part in Citizens Council meetings at the National Institute for Clinical Excellence over the course of three years, which included sessions on research amongst other topics
  • Acted as a co-author with Dr Matthew McCarthy on a study: “Seated exercise intervention to improve cardiorespiratory fitness, physical function, metabolic health and quality of life in diabetic foot patients’
  • Presented to the European Respiratory Society’s (ERS) conference in Paris following being contacted by a representative from the European Lung Foundation
  • Taken part in beta testing and acted given feedback on the new PRAI training and resource site that is being developed

I am also currently hoping to become a part of the Patient Research Engagement Panel (PREP) at the Research Space at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

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

Think about your children or grandchildren - you could make a difference to their quality of life in the future. There is something for everyone - even taking a short survey and giving your feedback can make a difference - and you’ll get something back from taking part, too.

And you can also help keep our NHS as the best health service in the world.

Click here to find out more about Patient Research Ambassadors.


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    Learn about what David's role as a Patient Research Ambassador means, and why he thinks everyone should get involved in research.
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