I am really proud to have become a Cochrane Consumer Champion. Without sounding cliche I never imagined “my journey” in patient and public involvement (PPI) with the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research would take me to where I am now. What started as reviewing a few patient information sheets has led to being a member on a number of different panels, speaking internationally about PPI and being a research partner as well as being a co-author in several pieces of research.
This next step with Cochrane is an amazing oppertunity and I cant wait to really get my teeth into it. I have some initial first questions I want to put to people and then hopefully be able to provide information to help develop understanding of what Cochrane is and how we can all benefit from the results produced.
Below is the introduction posted on the Cochrane UK website about me and my background.
Earlier this year, we invited applications from people who would like to be ‘Cochrane UK Consumer Champions’*. The Consumer Champions role will involve advocating for evidence-based health care and Cochrane amongst organisations and patient groups in the UK. Here, Olivia Fulton introduces herself:
“I fell into patient and public involvement (PPI) in research after focusing my time on raising awareness of severe asthma. I was no longer eligible to take part in clinical trials but wanted to do something to help people with debilitating severe asthma. I never knew there was an option where I could help shape and influence research.
Asthma is such a common disease but a very misunderstood disease. I have a rare form of severe asthma that means my day to day life is affected by it. I recently had to give up a main passion of mine which was nursing. I was a renal nurse specialising in home dialysis, through this work and my own experience as a patient I was able to really understand what patient centred care is but found that for patients to understand their condition and care they needed information in accessible language.
As I had to reduce my work life I was able to dedicate more and more time to patient and public involvement in research as I have seen the value of the patient voice in research. I now volunteer with a number of different organisations as a member and lead of PPI groups. I am excited to be a Cochrane UK Consumer Champion to ensure the patient voice is heard across all research but also that research that is disseminated is done so in a manner that everyone can understand and not just those with academic backgrounds”.
Olivia Fulton is on Twitter: @just_TUX.
A warm welcome! We are really looking forward to working with Olivia and each of the Consumer Champions.