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Researchers seek community advisors to help tackle healthcare associated infections

12 December 2016

Researchers are calling on the public to help them tackle healthcare associated infections.

The Scottish Healthcare Associated Infection Prevention Institute (SHAIPI), funded by the Scottish Government, is looking to involve the public in its work to improve its quality, relevance and impact.

SHAIPI has teams of researchers at the University of Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), the University of Strathclyde, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Dundee, and the University of St Andrews. SHAIPI is setting up a new Community Network (ChaiN) with the aim of adopting a partnership approach to its work.

Members of the public are invited to join ChaiN for SHAIPI as Community Advisors. They will be asked to share their ideas and opinions and be involved in research that affects patients’ lives and aims to reduce the number of infections that patients develop during the process of receiving healthcare.

Professor Jacqui Reilly, who leads the Safeguarding Health through Infection Prevention research group at GCU and the SHAIPI work stream on applied infection prevention and control, said: “Healthcare associated infections cause distress to patients and are a patient safety concern in the NHS. The threat of antibiotic resistance points to a wider public health threat which urgently needs action. Involving the public is crucial to the success of our research in terms of patient centredness, reach and impact.”

The research aims to provide new policy and practice impact in NHS Scotland and internationally by providing evidence for standard and transmission-based infection control precautions, such as hand hygiene and glove use, and provide evidence of the patient experience and acceptability of infection prevention and control-related interventions.

GCU Researcher Jen MacDonald, who is leading ChaiN for SHAIPI and seeking to build a network of Community Advisors, is hoping that the public’s involvement will lead to research which is better matched to people’s needs and concerns and reflect the interests and values of wider society.

Activities will include looking at the type of research undertaken, helping to develop research documents, being a member of a group supporting a research study, and helping to communicate research findings with the public. Community Advisors will be offered travel expenses and reimbursement for their time. Support and project-specific training will also be provided.

The team is looking for up to ten people, aged over 18-years old and living in Scotland, who do not undertake research in a professional capacity. Contact Jen MacDonald, ChaiN for SHAIPI Coordinator, on 0141 331 8272 or email jennifer.macdonald2@gcu.ac.uk for more information and an application form.