We are always on the lookout for volunteers who want to champion research, whether it be as a patient promoting research or a staff member with an interest in research.

Rachel Craig is a volunteer in the R&D department. This is what she has to say about working in our team:

“When I retired from work, I was keen to find a volunteer position that would make use of my knowledge and skills, so I was delighted when a friend suggested I contact the R&D Department at Ashford and St Peter’s (ASPH). My career involved carrying out large surveys for government departments, interviewing people in their own homes, building up a picture of the health of the general population. It’s a bit different from hospital research, so while I’ve been able to draw on my previous experience, I’ve also had a lot to learn.

I have found it very interesting to get involved with the medical research at ASPH, and was impressed to find out the very wide range of studies that are going on in the Trust. Some of the studies are large national projects where ASPH contributes, and some are designed and set up within our own Trust. I’ve been able to work with the doctors and researchers to develop some of these home-grown studies. All research that is carried out in a hospital must be checked by an Ethics Committee to make sure high standards are maintained and patients taking part are treated with respect and dignity. I’ve been helping to get ethical approval for our studies, and making sure that all the documents we use are clear and easy to understand.

I find it really rewarding to be able to contribute to such important work, knowing that it is going to help with improving medical care and treatment in the future. I’m also really lucky to be part of the R&D team – who, as well as being dedicated and professional, are also all incredibly friendly and great to work with!”