- School/Institute/Department: Katherine Twining Network, Blizard Institute
- Subjects: Public and Patient Advisory Groups, Women's Health Research
- Audience: Patients, Local Community
“Katie’s Team” is an advisory group set up by the Katherine Twining Network, which is hosted by the Women’s Health Research Unit at QMUL and conducts maternal health research in East London, as well as nationally and internationally. Their research areas include diabetes in pregnancy, pre-eclampsia, managing blood loss in childbirth, weight management in pregnancy, pre-term birth and other reproductive issues.
Katie’s Team consists of members of the public who will meet face to face three times a year to comment and advise on specific research topics, act as local research champions and advise on the direction of research. The group will discuss and comment on the network’s work at every stage of the research process – from developing research ideas, through recruiting patients, to disseminating results.
The purpose is to ensure that women’s health research remains relevant and applicable through the engagement and interest of the community in which research is conducted. This is especially as some of the issues explored by the network are of particular relevance to local population demographics, such as diabetes in pregnancy, which is a lot more common in populations of South Asian ethnicity. In order to improve awareness and responses to such health challenges, it is important to involve those who are, or may become, affected.
The long-term aim of Katie’s Team is to ensure that patient and public involvement becomes deeply embedded in all research linked to the Katherine Twining Network, and to improve engagement and interest within different populations in Tower Hamlets, nationally and internationally. This should help to increase participation in research and ensure that researchers’ projects are designed and executed in a way that benefits the people whose health it is designed to improve or maintain.