Emma Kinloch is due to start her new role as NCRI Consumer Lead on 1 April 2019. In this 60-second interview Emma tells us about what she is most looking forward to in her new role and the value that the involvement of patients, carers and others affected by cancer adds to research.

What are you most looking forward to in your role as NCRI Consumer Lead?

The NCRI Consumer Forum has a membership of over 95 expert patients, carers and others affected by cancer, so I will be busy! I’m most looking forward to a deeper understanding of the amazing work they all do, continuing to move forward and further develop the group, and working with the Forum members to design and deliver key projects.

What area of the NCRI’s work have you been most inspired by and what are you most looking forward to being involved with?

I’ve been involved with the NCRI since 2015 when I was appointed to the NCRI Head and Neck Clinical Studies Group and have been continually impressed by the NCRI’s genuine commitment to Consumer involvement at all stages of their work. I’ve been inspired by how relationships are fostered across all members and partners to ensure effective collaborations that truly drive forward research. I’m looking forward to playing a bigger role within the NCRI itself, furthering my involvement in the more strategic areas of the organisation.

How does patient involvement in research add value?

The patient perspective on research is unique and needed to ensure that it is being thought about in the right way. Is the trial design appropriate for patients to take part in? Is the patient information they will be provided with clear? Will it encourage participation in the trial? We always need to remember that there is a person at the end of the research process and include the outcomes that are important to those people. Patient involvement reminds us to ensure that results are ‘used’, that they are communicated to those most affected by the outcomes and that they aim, ultimately, to change clinical practice and facilitate better outcomes for patients.

What else do you do besides your work at the NCRI?

I am studying for a PhD in Occupational Health Psychology, focused on head and neck cancer and work and I’m also collaborating with Dr Robert Metcalf, a medical oncologist from the Christie Hospital in Manchester, to push forward research into rare salivary gland cancers.

To relax, I like to spend time outdoors whenever possible with family and friends. I enjoy hill walking, wild swimming and of course, a good pub lunch!

What can we expect to see from the NCRI Consumer Forum in the next 12 months?

Consumers will be present in all areas of the NCRI’s work, from core roles on the NCRI Clinical Studies Groups, to ad hoc projects and initiatives, such as delivering the Living with and Beyond Cancer research priorities. The Consumer Forum will be key in delivering the strategic objectives of the NCRI. In addition, we will be building and developing the network in some key areas to ensure we are truly representative of patients, carers and others affected by cancer across the UK.

Further information

Find out more about the NCRI Consumer Forum