Former patient wins award for research

06 November 2017

A former patient and his wife have won an award for their input into a ground-breaking trial based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB).

Duncan and Lisa-Marie Buckley have been awarded the Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement Award at the Clinical Research Network West Midlands 2017 Awards for their work on the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) CHAT study.

Duncan Buckley and his wife Lisa-Marie identified a research need within early critical care recovery; how to reduce communication difficulties in patients with tracheostomies to not only improve well-being but also aid in early rehabilitation.

Drawing on his own experience and working with the critical care patient and public involvement (PPI) group Duncan developed a concept demonstrator for a novel ICU communication device called ICU CHAT. This is currently undergoing a clinical feasibility trial funded by the NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (SRMRC) on the QEHB Critical Care Unit.

“For me it was all about improving things, as a result of what I had gone through, for those that came along afterwards” Said Duncan. “I had five years-worth of experiences from treatment and rehabilitation and I thought I may as well put that to good use. I really wanted to get involved in the research side of things, that where my interest was. Having been a patient I wanted to see the direct effect that research can have on outcomes.”

Dr Charlotte Small, Anaesthesia and Critical Care Research Fellow at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This study would not have been possible without Duncan and Lisa. As well as identifying the initial need for this they have both guided the development of the research and made sure the device is trialled by the most appropriate patient group.

“Through their unique perspective on patient care and involvement at all stages of research and development Duncan and Lisa have ensure that the evaluation of ICU CHAT will provide meaningful data to guide future innovation to improve patient experience during recovery from critical illness.”