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Biographies – Research Design Service Yorkshire and Humber



Meet the members of our Public Involvement Forum.

Ade Adebajo
Professor Ade Adebajo is a Consultant Physician in Rheumatology at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer and Associate Director of Teaching at the University of Sheffield Medical School. His main research interest is in the field of Musculoskeletal Health Services Research.
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He chairs the South Yorkshire Patient and Public Involvement Strategy Group, which is a collaboration between the Research Design Service (RDS), the Comprehensive Local Research Network (CLRN) and the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research Care (CLAHRC). He is a member of INVOLVE.

Christine Allmark
Diagnosed with Head and Neck Cancer in 2002, Christine went on to make a good recovery and build on previous personal experience of chronic illness (lupus), voluntary sector activity and a professional background in further and higher education to become a tutor in communication skills to medical undergraduates, and subsequently into academic research.
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A University of Leeds graduate, she is currently employed there as a user research lead and honorary research assistant within the Psychosocial Oncology and Clinical Practice Research Group. The study she is working on is a Macmillan Cancer Support funded grant competition winning project examining the benefits of user mentor support for recently diagnosed head and neck cancer patients and carers in the difficult period when discharged home to outpatient status following first in -hospital treatment. She is also user advisor/collaborator to other academic research projects and studies.
Current local regional and national user group memberships include the Yorkshire Cancer Network, the National Cancer Research Institute Consumer Liaison Group and Head and Neck Survivorship Subgroup, National Cancer Information Network Head and Neck Information Pathways and Patient Reference, Peer Review etc. Other PPI involvements are at the Universities of Leeds and Huddersfield, where she also teaches part-time in health professional education. Christine is working to encourage development and change in academic and health research practice: moving forward from research done to users, to research done with and by users.
Wendy Baird
Professor Wendy Baird is the Director of the RDS for Yorkshire and the Humber as well as a Professor of Health Services Research at ScHARR, University of Sheffield. Her research has largely been related to assessment of health care needs in people with a disability with particular emphasis on oral health, multiple sclerosis and older people in rural areas.
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Most recently her research portfolio has been in the field of multiple sclerosis around the establishment of a population based register of people with MS in the UK.
Samina Begum
My name is Samina Begum. My background work is in mental health where I have been passionate about advocating for those who are seldom heard or unable to communicate for themselves. Whilst doing voluntary work, I was asked to be part of Born in Bradford's Community Research Advisory Group, where I have been involved in various research from the impact of air pollution on children, access to dentists, childhood obesity and many more than I can remember. I am part of a national study looking at AI and datasets and health inequalities in BAME communities. I know some communities are lacking participation in research and yet the healthcare system is looking at AI technology and it is vital that universities and research invest in community partnerships and not have one off research outcomes so that no community gets left behind.
Andrea Broadway-Parkinson
Andrea’s interest in influencing policy and practice and ‘PCPIE’ (Patient, Carer, Public Involvement and Engagement) activities stems from 28 plus years as an incomplete spinal cord injured person following a Road Traffic Accident in 1986. She has had much previous and current experience of using health services.
Following studies in Social Policy (York, 1992) and Health Education (York St John, 1994), post 16/Adults Teaching/Training (1995) and a 5 year career as a British Paralympic level Wheelchair Tennis athlete (Atlanta 1996), she has run her own part time freelance disability consultancy, ‘Dispel’, based in York since 1998.
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She has experience of working in the voluntary, public and private sectors nationally, regionally and locally and focused latterly in “expert patient” and patient experience/quality focused work. Key roles currently include ‘Expert Patient/Advisor’ with Yorkshire Ambulance Service; Lay Review work for NIHR (Research for Patient Benefit Prog), member of PURSUN (Pressure Ulcer Research Service User Network) c/o University of Leeds and PhOEBE (Pre Hospital Outcomes for Evidence Based Evaluation) Project PPI Reference Group member c/o ScHARR, University of Sheffield. She has an active interest in self management/self care, user led and peer support approaches and is passionate about ‘patient partnership’ and ‘service user/consumer’ involvement as a means of securing safe, efficient improvements in services and practices which are truly patient/service user/consumer centred. “I’m delighted to be a RDS PPI Forum Lay Member in order to proactively influence the health research agenda regionally and nationally and ‘add value’ from a patient/lay perspective”.
Sharon Caunt
Sharon is the Manager for the Sheffield site of the RDS YH and a generalist adviser with particular interests in public involvement and equality, diversity and inclusion in research. She is also the Research Coordinator for the Academic Directorate of Diabetes and Endocrinology at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where she develops and manages their research portfolio and coordinates the Lay ADvice for Diabetes and Endocrine Research (LADDER) Patient and Public Involvement panel.
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Prior to this, she worked within a Clinical Research Organisation performing Phase I and II trials before completing her PhD and post-doctoral research in molecular oncology at Sheffield Hallam University.

Phil Gleeson
Philip Gleeson’s first job was as a Patternmaker at West Yorkshire foundries, gaining a degree in engineering, when they closed he went into warehouse and distribution, eventually becoming a Transport Director at a large distribution company. Due to illness 20+ years ago he now uses a wheelchair. Whilst ill he completed a degree in the arts at Open University to keep his mind as active as possible.
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Being an Engineer at heart has given him a real interest in research as he has found that this is another way of designing and making more efficient the machine which in research is the human body. Phil is currently the chair for the charity ‘Leeds involving people’ and the co-chair for the ‘Better lives Leeds Board’. Apart from this he also is a Hub representative for Leeds City Council and a Trustee for the Leeds access committee and Disability council. Phil has a broad spectrum of interest in research and has a strong belief in a completely accessible world to ensure that everyone is treated equally regardless of age and ability.
Karen Glerum
Karen Glerum works as a patient and public involvement and stakeholder engagement manager in the York Trials Unit at the University of York, which is one of the hubs of the Yorkshire and Humber Research Design Service. Her role within RDS YH is to advise researchers on involving members of the public in research design, to help ensure that studies will meet the needs of society.
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Her background is in journalism and communications.
Brian Hodges
5a.m. March 1990, a single stroke ruined the whole day. Trained as a nurse and a teacher with a Masters in Health Education from Chelsea I was at the time Head of Department of Health Care Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University. Disability and early retirement forced a new direction, disabled but determined I engaged with the Disabled community.
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A founder member and subsequent Chair of Shopmobility Sheffield founder member and chair of the clinical audit patient panel for Sheffield health trust, founder member and subsequent Chair of HQIP Service User Network, my term of office recently coming to an end. Although not currently research active I have been involved at local and national level supporting others undertaking research for some time.
Daniel Lawrence
Dan is a Clinical Research Coordinator at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, and a significant part of his role is to oversee the Public Involvement activities within Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. When Dan started his role almost eight years ago, he did not know much about Public Involvement, but has quickly came to realise how valuable it is in conducting high quality research that is patient focussed.
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As a result, Dan is committed to promoting Public Involvement in research, but also exploring ways to make it more accessible to a broader audience.
Robina Mir
My name is Robina Mir. I currently work within the medical school at the University of Leeds as a non clinical tutor. I am also a member of the Patient Carer Community (PCC).
As well as being a Lay Representative of NIHR in Sheffield, I also work as a Lay Representative for the National School of Healthcare Studies (NSCHS) Health Education England (HEE), Birmingham.
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I held a 15 year career within the Leeds NHS where I was involved in designing and developing a new maternity care service which developed from research within Leeds during that time. I'm very proud of establishing the Haamla Service which is now part of mainstream maternity services of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust and still going strong today. My other main role within the NHS involved developing services and supporting families affected by Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Major, both inherited blood disorders.
I spent many more years within the Voluntary sector as a Trustee and as a strategic manager for two Healthy Living Centres and various projects where bridging the gap between clinical services and the communities they served was a prime part of my working career. I’m passionate about community involvement and training health professionals to be effective communicators with all the communities they serve. I'm a freelance and trained simulated patient and worked with the London Deanery for some time. Now I work mostly with Leeds and Liverpool universities with their undergraduate and post graduate students who are developing their communication skills or in exam situations. I do lots of other things like bake cakes, voluntary work for a national charity called Hhugs and still enjoying the best chapter of my life being a grandmother too!
Graham Prestwich
Following my Pharmacology Degree at Leeds University and three years in Cancer Research I joined the medicines industry. My career culminated in managing collaborative programmes to help and support people to become more involved in their own health and wellbeing in the UK, Italy and Finland. I retired in 2007 and started my own company.
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In 2012 I was appointed Lay Member for Patient and Public involvement at NHS Leeds North Clinical Commissioning Group where I encourage and support authentic patient and public involvement in decision making. My additional involvement activities include research, medicines, equality and diversity, teaching, mental health, learning from incidents, continual quality improvement and national policy development. I am an Improvement Fellow at the Improvement Academy at Bradford Institute for Health Research.
Holly Schofield
Holly has worked as a Senior Portfolio Coordinator at Leeds Institute for Clinical Trials Research (LICTR) for a number of years supporting research, data management and reporting, communications, and public involvement and engagement activity. She was acting PPI lead at LICTR for 12 months to cover maternity leave in 2021, and is Chair of the LICTR Public and Patient Involvement and Engagement Working Group. Holly joined the Research Design Service (RDS) in late 2020 as a Public Involvement Adviser and has been involved in the delivery of training days and workshops on PPI and writing in plain English, as well as advising researchers on PPI in their grant development. Holly has taken up the role of Chair of the Public Involvement Forum and Public Involvement Fund Panel as of May 2022, as part of her role as Co-Lead for Public Involvement in the Yorkshire & Humber Region.

Lucy Wasinski
Lucy is a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Clinical Research & Innovation Office at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Her role includes overseeing the public involvement and engagement activities (PPIE) at the Trust. She facilitates the Collaborative Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement group at the Trust, which comprises the Public Involvement Leads from the National Institute for Health Research funded infrastructures hosted by the Trust (including the Biomedical Research Centre, the Clinical Research Facility, Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative and the Cancer Clinical Trials Centre). The aim of the group is to ensure a coordinated approach to PPIE across the Trust and to share best practice.
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Together with colleagues in the Clinical Research & Innovation Office she also supports the Public Involvement groups who are involved with research at the Trust, and coordinates the delivery of the Participant in Research Experience Survey at the Trust.
Ellie Wildbore
I work as a Patient Ambassador in Medical Education and Research in Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS FT. I am also a service user of the Trust, having lived with complex mental health problems for most of my life. I originally trained as a primary school teacher but my mental illness meant that I have spent a large proportion of my adult life out of work or in hospital. I have worked at SHSC for the past 3 years and during that time have trained and taught mental health professionals – from 1st year nurses and medical students through to qualified staff working in the NHS and postgraduate students on various degree programmes.
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My role in the research development unit is specifically to enhance service user involvement and awareness of research – from recruiting participants to studies, to supporting service users to be part of research study teams. I am currently a co-applicant on a number of studies myself. I also do a lot in the Trust in terms of gathering service user feedback and experiences to enhance service development. In my spare time I generally have 8 wheels on my feet because I love roller skating!