Job Title: Patient and Public Contributor
Mary Ramsay is a patient and public contributor and a founder member of the Solent NHS Research & Improvement (R&I) Team Side-by-Side group. Since her husband sadly lost his battle to dementia in 2015, Mary has dedicated her life to being involved in research; wanting to ‘give back’ and do more in the search for a cure for dementia. Mary has been fundamental is creating the Side-by-Side group; not only a patient involvement group, but a commitment to a way of working. The group consists of a collection of individuals who have touched Solent NHS Trust services, and the Research & Improvement Team in a variety of ways. They work together in order to help drive the strategic direction of the team, but also hold them to account and ensure that the patient voice is centred in all decisions made. The Side-by-Side group worked alongside the R&I Team to help them gain ‘Patients Included’ accreditation for the annual conference 2017; a national recognition that it was co-produced by patients, was fully accessible and patient friendly. Solent NHS Trust was the first NHS trust ever to gain accreditation for such an event. By working alongside Mary and the Side-by-Side group, the R&I team are able to embed patient perspective in their core business of research and improvement.