The Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) panel met virtually for the second time in November, with a science-packed agenda. Lynn was a great Co-Chair and excellent timekeeper, ensuring everyone had an opportunity to speak.
Peter Openshaw, UK-CIC Co-Chair and Lead for ISARIC 4C workstream, was welcomed to the panel and explained how the consortium had allowed for a rapid research response to the pandemic. Peter presented latest findings on the effects of factors such as age and gender on COVID-19 mortality rates and the panel were able to ask questions. There were interesting points raised by the panel, including the need to include patients with rare diseases in the sample collection, which Peter confirmed was happening.
The panel also heard from Paul Klenerman, UK-CIC Theme 2 Lead, who gave an overview of the science covered by Theme 2 and Theme 4 as there has been some overlap in the research being conducted. Paul explained how the immune response to SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, can be both ‘good’ to help clear infected cells and ‘bad’ which can damage healthy tissue. Paul spoke about current progress that has been made in analysing the different immune responses in patients and how this helps with understanding what immune response is important for preventing reinfection. A discussion with the PPI panel followed including around considering long-term outcomes for patients after COVID-19 which look at quality of life. Bob and Tony sit on the Advisory Board and will take points of discussion and comments from the PPI panel to the next Advisory Board meeting for consideration by the scientists.
Finally, Gabriela De Sousa, Research Communications Officer for UK-CIC, spoke with the panel about all the communications methods currently being delivered by the UK-CIC. Feedback was welcomed from the panel about the UK-CIC website design and information, and both internal and external newsletters. The website’s accessibility for a wide range of viewers was raised by the panel and is always considered when creating communications content. It was suggested that short summaries of the meetings could go on the website to showcase the impact of the PPI panel. Additionally, there was plenty of enthusiasm from the panel to contribute to ongoing UK-CIC public engagement and research communications – do keep an eye out for resources and materials in the future!
The meeting closed with the panel using an online platform called Padlet, to share their thoughts about the meeting in order to evaluate and improve the PPI involvement in the project.
Thank you to all the PPI panel members for their contributions and time at the meeting. You can read more about the PPI panel here.