The University of Manchester recognises HeRC’s public engagement work at annual celebration event

Posted on August 1, 2018

HeRC team members Lamiece Hassan and Stephen Melia receiving award for public engagement

HeRC celebrated the success of the #DataSavesLives hashtag recently, when it was highly commended at the University’s Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health’s (FBMH) annual Public and Patient Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) awards.

Developed in partnership with HeRC’s patient and public involvement (H@PPI) Forum, #DataSavesLives is used by the Centre as the starting point for having conversations with the public about the use of their data for research.

Through events, activities, videos, news stories, publications and on social media #DataSavesLives is a multi-platform campaign that has now been adopted by a wide variety of partners and has engaged with thousands of people since it launched in January 2015.

Delivered by the Centre for Health Informatics’ PPIE team (including Mia Belfield, Sarah Fox, Lamiece Hassan, Jo Hobbs, Stephen Melia and Mary Tully), the hashtag has been used over 20,000 times on Twitter and has received support from The Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council and Health Data Research UK alongside a variety of public, private and third sector organisations and influential individuals including Jo Churchill MP, Lord James O’Shaughnessy and Microsoft’s Prof. Iain Buchan.

Visitors to Bluedot festival take part in an interactive game

HeRC has driven engagement with #DataSavesLives through a variety of public and patient engagement activities, including delivering major citizen science projects (such as #BritainBreathing and CityMoves), facilitating public panel discussions and attending public-facing community events. The team also produced an animation which has been widely circulated online.

HeRC researchers also recently represented the campaign at Jodrell Bank’s Bluedot Festival with an interactive health data-themed stand. More than three thousand members of the public visited the stand over the course of the three day festival, many taking part in a brand new health data game designed to highlight the challenges and opportunities associated with using data to improve health.

Dr Amanda Lamb, Head of HeRC Operations, said: “#DataSavesLives has been a fantastic tool enabling us to reach out to members of the public and raise awareness of the Health eResearch Centre’s work. I am delighted that the Public Engagement team’s hard work has been recognised by the University and I look forward to seeing what it will achieve in years to come.”

Another of HeRC’s major PPIE projects is the ‘Making a Difference’ award-winning H@PPI (HeRC@PPI) Forum. Members of H@PPI spoke at the award ceremony, looking back on what they have achieved since its formation in 2014. This included their public engagement work at Manchester’s Caribbean Festival, the Lancashire Schools Festival and the Manchester Science Festival. Find out more about H@PPI here.

Watch members of the H@PPI Forum speaking below.



To find out more about HeRC’s public and patient engagement activities, click here.