How we are working in partnership with you
At CRUK RadNet Cambridge, we are embedding patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) into our research culture and we try to make sure that researchers and patients work collaboratively together in all of our projects. PPIE is not a tick box exercise but a valuable collaboration that benefits the people involved and the researchers alike. When patients and the public are involved from the beginning of the journey, it helps us to understand why our work is important and ensures that your voices are heard from the start.
Your contributions are valuable, as you can provide alternative views from those of our research teams. Your input provides us with real insight into what patients and the public think of our projects and can save us a great deal of time and effort by pointing out something that we may not have considered. It can also ensure that our research and information is relevant to what is important to you, and that we are conducting research for the right reasons and asking the right questions.
We also plan to do some community engagement which we hope will help with improving diversity and inclusivity in our PPIE work and in our research. Collaborating with local communities will help us to find out what barriers there are to research and how we can make it more accessible for groups that are underrepresented.
Meet our amazing CRUK RadNet Cambridge PPIE Group! In this video, four of our members share an honest experience of their radiotherapy treatment. We also take a look around the Radiotherapy Department at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
"One thing that really struck me about the Radiotherapy Department was that although the environment and machines used are cutting edge and high tech, the friendliness and approachability displayed by the team, in what can feel like a very unfamiliar environment, made a world of difference."
PPIE Group member.
In this next video, members of our PPIE Group talk about their motivations for getting involved with CRUK RadNet Cambridge and why we need more people to share their voices about radiotherapy and radiotherapy research.
"Knowing there is a way to have your voice heard and a way that you can make a difference for other people was very empowering for me."
PPIE Group member.
The radiotherapy timeline project
Our first PPIE project was to create a display in the Radiotherapy Department at Addenbrooke’s Hospital that would celebrate patient involvement in radiotherapy research and development. Over 50% of patients with cancer will receive radiotherapy as an essential part of their treatment; being able to highlight and show how we are constantly developing to the public is important in demystifying and improving the public perception of radiotherapy.
Radiotherapy research is critical in furthering our knowledge and understanding of this treatment. In this video, some of our patients talk about the importance of radiotherapy research and their hopes for its future.
The display incorporates online content to allow us to give you further information in bite-sized amounts and in an accessible manner. We worked with our PPIE Group on both the physical and digital elements to truly create something made in partnership with patients and the public.
PRIMETIME is a phase 3, multi-centre clinical trial, funded by the Institute of Cancer Research and led by Professor Charlotte Coles (Director, CRUK RadNet Cambridge), investigating whether radiotherapy can be avoided in patients with breast cancer that are considered to have a low risk of local recurrence. The trial is now in the follow-up stage.
By co-developing clinical trial information with previous clinical trial patients, we learned that we needed to change how we give you information. Instead of long booklets and loose papers, we have begun to create videos. The below example was made and scripted by the PRIMETIME patient and public involvement representatives to accompany patient information about the trial. Having patients script the video ensured that the most valuable messages to them were shared. We are grateful to the PRIMETIME trial team for allowing us to host a copy of this video as an example of effective patient and public involvement in research.
We are always looking for new members to join our PPIE group. Your involvement with us could range from attending group meetings to discussing projects, as well as reviewing patient information and documents.
To join our group, please email Suzanne Miller: email@example.com
In Cambridge, there are other PPIE Groups that you also might be interested in joining: