Rachael Brown

Patient and Community Engagement Facilitator

Core Team

My role

I’m the Patient & Community Engagement Facilitator in the team, based in Portsmouth at St. Mary’s Hospital. I often pop across to Southampton as well and am out and about meeting patients and stakeholders.

My responsibilities & current projects

I work closely with Carl Adams on the patient & public involvement aspect of research and improvement. My main areas of work include coordinating ‘Side-by-Side’ (our patient involvement group) and its expansion, leading on our ‘Participant Experience Project’ (understanding participants’ experiences of taking part in health research), as well as supporting patient involvement in quality improvement projects across Solent NHS Trust.

My background

I suppose my brain is a bit sciency blended with people skills from customer service experience and some teaching. My BSc was in Human Biosciences, after which I gained some world/life experience then studied an MSc in Public Health. Following that I worked for Portsmouth City Council in their Public Health team delivering health promotion projects to children and young people in the city, through building partnerships with various stakeholders. After that I worked delivering the Diabetes Prevention Programme across Hampshire and the IOW, which was commissioned by the NHS and delivered by the private company that I worked for. During that time I became more and more interested in a person’s perspective of their own health and their thoughts and feedback of their experience of health services. This led me to discover the work of the Academy of Research and Improvement and my relatively new role which I started in July this year (2018).

Why I love my job

I thoroughly enjoy the opportunities I have to meet and work with such a variety of people. It is quite special to listen to a person’s lived experience of a health challenge or encounter and I feel privileged to be in a position to link patients and the public to be able to feedback and help shape what we do for the better, together. Coming to work in a positive environment where colleagues all genuinely care about the work that they do and are so helpful and welcoming makes every day that bit better too.

More about me

When not at work I’m often busy enjoying myself on, in or by the sea – open water swimming, paddle-boarding, cycling, running, sometimes windsurfing, or just watching the sunset! Essentially anything active with some occasional downtime