After 41 years working in the NHS Rose Brown hasn’t let retirement slow her down as she takes on the role of interim chairman of the Lincolnshire Research Patient and Public Forum.
Rose, 65, retired in May 2014 after first undertaking nurse training in 1973.
During her career she worked as a Staff Nurse, then Sa troke Lead Nurse having spent the last 24 years with the NHS in stroke care.
She said: “I saw a vacancy for a Stroke Research Nurse, applied and was successful in my application, becoming the first in the East Midlands (EM) in 2006.
“During this time I was the top recruiter in the world, at one point, in recruiting patients into a stroke trial. At the end of the trial Lincoln had the second highest recruitment in the world.
“I was also Manager of the Lincolnshire Clinical Research Facility (LCRF) during this time.
“However, I don’t feel that was my only greatest achievement. I was on the committee to set up stroke services in Lincolnshire back in 1995.
“Initially, we were only given one acute stroke unit at Lincoln, but as a team, we fought for an acute centre at Boston, and won.
“I also facilitated and delivered training for student nurses and ULHT (United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust) staff, the latter in collaboration with the University of Lincoln.
Since retiring, Rose continues to support stroke survivors by volunteering for the Stroke Association.
She said: “I visit stroke survivors following discharge to provide continued support. At the moment it is mostly helping clients with speech and language difficulties.
“My one frustration is that as a volunteer, I am unable to use all my expertise.
“I was nominated for a national award ‘Life After Stroke’ by the Stroke Association in 2014, in the category of Professional Excellence for my achievements in developing the Stroke service within ULHT.
“I didn’t win, but did receive an award for my nomination.”
Rose has also been approached by her previous managers to undertake more volunteer roles.
She said: “Firstly, I am a member of the Patient, Public and Partnership Council for CLAHRC EM (Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care East Midlands).
“Secondly, I was approached to be Interim Chair for Lincolnshire Research Patient and Public Forum (LRPPF), by Professor Tanweer Ahmed, my last NHS manager, and accepted.
“I am currently setting up the LRPPF and have three other members, but we need more volunteers to support this initiative.
“Our main goal is to ensure there is patient and public involvement in setting up research trials in ULHT. They can be patients or carers that have been involved in a clinical trial or someone that has an interest in research.
“Volunteers will be given the necessary training and awarded expenses for travel, parking and for any meals, if not provided.
“This is very exciting opportunity for people to become involved and have a say in how local research is shaped to suit patient needs.
“I am very enthusiastic at getting the patient and public voice heard in research. If anyone is interested in becoming a member, then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01522 582059.”
Professor Tanweer Ahmed, Director of LCRF, said: “The forum is an excellent resource for the Trust and patients to influence future research within our hospitals. Patients and the public can not only influence future research but also guide researchers in the design and delivery of clinical research.
“It is important that patients and public are involved in any publicly funded research that may have an impact on them.”