Clinical research is vital to help discover which interventions work better for patients and ensures existing treatments are used in the best possible ways. Engaging in research can be a powerful way for healthcare professionals to improve patient care and to empower people who use mental health services.
Aiming High, Changing Lives, the Trust’s five-year strategy 2021-2026 outlines our ambitions for our research and innovation, which will have a direct impact on improving our local services.
Lily Kpodo and Jemma Venables are research ambassadors at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, working towards improving access to research for people who use Trust services.
Lily, who works across the Trust’s four boroughs, said: “The remit of our role involves implementing aspects of bottom-up activism and to ensure research opportunities are being offered to people across the Trust, which is relevant to them, at any stage in their care. Through our roles, we want to activate enthusiasm for research, in the service user community.
[Pictured - Lily Kpodo]
“We know research isn’t something everyone is always confident about participating in or taking lead on a research idea. We want to encourage our clinicians to involve people who use our services in our research, but also so that research can become meaningful for the clinician.
“Participating in research can provide a number of benefits to the individual, including – boosting one’s confidence and self-esteem, which ultimately can aid the individual’s recovery process. Being part of research can also enhance people’s clinical care, as we develop a greater understanding of mental health treatment, and we also know it will have a direct impact on improving services.
“Covid-19 has had a big impact on research programmes, so we are working to ensure we build sustainable relationships with our communities and people who use our services to support our research and innovation.”