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Our PPIE Strategy Group members

Maisie McKenzie – Co-Lead – PRU BehSocSci PPIE Strategy Group 

I have over 20 years’ experience in the NHS with 10 years within Public Health and the remainder within community NHS services including 2 years within the Acute Hospital Services. For the last four years I have been involved in a range of academic and clinical research including input into training and education of early researchers and clinical and medical students.  I am also qualified to deliver range of training programmes to different professionals in health and social care so understand the importance of quality assurance evidenced based training programmes.

I joined the PRU Behavioural Science PPIE Strategy group as I have a general interest in public health and how the behavioural sciences both positive factors and barriers can influence the health behaviours of individuals and communities which ultimately influence public health programmes and policy guidance.

Irene Soulsby – Co-Lead PRU BehSocSci PPIE Strategy Group 

I am one of the Public and Patient representatives and act as deputy to the public member PPIE lead for the PRU Behavioural Science PPIE Strategy Group.  I live in the Newcastle upon Tyne area and she left school at 16 working as a secretary for 35 years. After a cancer diagnosis in 2003 and being successfully treated, I decided to take early retirement. I now enjoy getting involved with University and health research projects and I have been volunteering for them for many years. I am also a volunteer for the Institute of Neuroscience, and a member of Trial Steering Committees and Trial Management Groups. I also enjoy participating in focus groups and going to as many conferences as possible, looking upon this as “my University years”. In my spare time I enjoy walking and going to the cinema and theatre.

Stu Edwards – PRU BehSocSci PPIE Strategy Group Member

I am a Public and Patient representatives who joined just before COVID having learnt of PPI whilst undergoing a series of investigations for a bowel disorder.  I found it really welcoming to have clinicians and decision makers listen to and value my user experience, and I am really heartened when I hear researchers say how my ideas and those of my other lay PPI colleagues in the group have influenced the way they approach their research, making it more patient centric and improving the experience for everyone – as well as the quality of research.  I would recommend PPI as a way to share your views,  contribute to making a difference in an inclusive and non judgmental environment and meet some great new friends as well as discover and learn many interesting things.


Caroline Kemp – PRU BehSocSci PPIE Strategy Group Member

I am a carer for three people with diverse needs and as such have a vested interest in care and health and how services are being delivered. Since my daughter became ill, I signed up to lots of research groups as I felt research was way forward to knowing new treatments and how I could strive for the best quality of life under the circumstances. So naturally I was drawn to the work of the PRU Behavioural Science. I learned about the PRU via the Research Design Service (RDS) PANEL I was on and then I met the PRU team and joined the Strategy Group shortly after.
I was very lucky to be at the launch of the PRU where everything in my life which had gone before suddenly clicked into place at a particularly apposite time – COVID. What is the use of having a vaccine if no one uses it? I loved doing work of vaccine hesitancy and I enjoy all the topics we consider within the PRU for Behavioural Science, particularly from a carer perspective. (Mental Health, Mobility and hearing issues). I realised everything in life depends on behaviour. It was all so clear and I could see the power of this group. Also what I have learned from this group spills into my PPIE in the RDS Consumer Panel where we regularly do virtual and online reviews. And also colours my work at Northumbria with students and as Co-Chair of the EBE group.

Sudhir Shah – PRU BehSocSci PPIE Strategy Group Member

I have a good understanding of the needs of the diverse communities in London.  I believe I am a good communicator at all levels and a good team member. I joined Newcastle University’s Policy Research Unit in Behaviour Science so that I can offer my positive experiences of lay PPIE which I have listed below.   The other reason to join this group is that I need to understand local communities needs outside London through my peer PPIE colleagues and researchers.  I hope then I can offer a broader spectrum of knowledge through my experiences to this unit. I have gained knowledge and experiences from my participations through the following:

  • I am a lay PPIE Research Advisory panellist for North Thames ARC at UCL and Patient Safety Research centre at Imperial College.  Here I provide constructive comments on various health research papers and at the same time understand the sensitive nature of the subjects and respect all the team members.
  • I am a group member for UCL’s Coproduction Collective group in Health Research.
  • I am a Lived Experience Advisory Panellist for Tackling Chronic Depression (known as TACK) for East London NHS Foundation Trust.  Here I am involved in Dialog+ project which basically promote effective patient-clinician communication in community mental health service care.
  • I have practical experience of mental health as I was a carer for a relative.  I have gained valuable practical lessons from listening to people/patients, at my local focus groups and Carers UK where I am a member.  I have, over this time, gained good experience on evaluating research papers/studies where I provided practical ideas with holistic approachs.

Also, previously I was involved in the NHS Research groups prioritising the research themes, research applications, research deliverables and strategies.