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The William Harvey Research Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Patient & Public Engagement activities 2011-2024

The interaction with patients as witnesses and teachers has grown into teaching for research, naive GP’s and practice nurses, and exploring the power of stories to communicate the most difficult aspects of clinical trials.


NIHR Barts Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Public and Patient Advisory Group (PPAG) 

• Are you a heart patient/member of the public interested in heart research?
• Would you like to have a say in the heart research we are doing and in related activities? 

Many of our group members have personal experience of cardiovascular involvement with or treatment at Barts Health NHS Trust or the William Harvey Research Institute (WHRI). The group’s membership includes two business executives, an educationalist, and three retired persons. Activities group members have taken part in have included commenting on research grants and posters from a lay perspective and taking an active part in the planning of events such as Barts Health Clinical Trials Day, Let's Talk Hearts (free heart talks we run for the general public) and Barts and Queen Mary Science Festival. Membership of the group is also open to interested lay members of the public as well as patients.

2021 marked the 10th year of the NIHR Barts BRC Public and Patient Advisory Group. Many thanks to all our group members past and present for all your help.

If you are interested please contact Jane Batchelor at

*National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), part of the Department of Health which promotes better understanding of research for patients, public and researchers; The NIHR Barts Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is one of a number of research centres across the UK funded by the NIHR.

The NIHR Barts Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is also one of a number of organisations which form part of UCL Partners AHSC (Academic Health Science Centre) and are active in public involvement and engagement.

Barts Health NHS Trust International Clinical Trials Day* celebrations 

International Clinical Trials Day events are held worldwide around 20th May to celebrate the anniversary of the first clinical trial by James Lind in 1747 into the causes of scurvy on board the HMS Salisbury. Read more

Interested in finding out more about James Lind and how clinical trials can help with clinical research? Read more 

Recent activities

Recent activities have included:
November 2023 
PPAG members and placement students learning about public engagement ran an exhibition stand at the FMD Industry Day celebrating PPAG activities. 
QMUL Industry Connect Day - Cardiovascular and Metabolism [PDF 1,837KB]
June 2023
PPAG member entered and won a poetry competition run by the Voluntary Hospital of St Bartholomew to celebrate 900 years of Barts Hospital with a poem about blood pressure. 900th Anniversary Poetry Competition [PDF 173KB]
PPAG members again helped to shape and run Barts and Queen Mary Science Festival.
Activities included taking part in a virtual rehearsal of a talk, helping to plan the event schedule, and welcoming guests to the in-person festival. For this year's online festival activities, a volunteer also created a thoughtfully planned "Family clinical history taking" competition for young people emphasising why good clinical communication matters.
February 2023
PPAG members assisted with running of virtual Let's Talk Hearts talks (free talks on heart conditions); topics were blood pressure awareness and the relationship between heart and dental health. For more about Let's Talk Hearts see

October 2022
PPAG members assisted with organisation of a Let's talk hearts talk at Barts Pathology Museum. 

May 2022
PPAG members and WHRI staff attended and assisted with Barts Health Trust's 2022 International Clinical Trials Day flagship event which focused on equality, diversity and inclusion. International Clinical Trials Day 2022 - Poster [PDF 285KB].

June 2022
Barts and Queen Mary Science Festival - this year virtual in format with many science themed activities still available on the website.

June 2022
Festival of Communities - in person event at Queen Mary University of London's Mile End campus/Stepney Green Park.
Activities at this year's Festival of Communities included exhibition stand and workshops by Let's talk hearts and Trials Connect.
Interested in the Festival of Communities? For more information see

During these two years PPAG members have worked hard to promote public understanding of clinical trials, see

In both years PPAG members took part in and helped out at the Barts Health Research Matters Evening and local exhibition stands.

May activities included a Let's Talk Hearts talk on Barts Bioresource, an information stand at Barts Health Research Matters evening with staff/volunteers on hand to answer queries and a stand in the Barts clinical area with staff from Barts Bioresource.

20th May 2016 - International Clinical Trials day event “How to Patients Benefit from Clinical Trials” held at the William Harvey Heart Centre. Speakers were David Collier (William Harvey Heart Centre), Paul Bowers Isaacson (PPAG member) also spoke at Barts and Queen Mary science festival on 6th July 2016)  and Steffen Petersen (Centre Lead, Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging).

Research Matters evening 24th May 2016 - Perrin Lecture Theatre, Blizard building Whitechapel; exhibition stand was held at this event with the help of staff, patients and public.

Let's Talk hearts Is Your Heart Broken? 25th May 3-5pm, 1st floor, conference room, Idea Store Whitechapel (This was a chance to hear Dr Francesca Pugliese and Dr Alexia Rossi give their fascinating imaging talk showing what broken and mended hearts look like.

Activities included a mixture of information stalls with staff on hand at each to engage with patients and respond to queries eg Let's Talk Hearts stand and Women's Health exhibition stands held in the new Barts Heart Centre and talks eg an afternoon of research themed talks held in the Derek Willoughby theatre and an entertaining talk by Professor Atholl Johnson "Clinical Trials - Why bother?" at the Clarke Kennedy lecture theatre in Whitechapel. 

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