Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research

New Patient and Public Involvement Volunteer Lead

David Weatherill becomes a volunteer Patient and Public Involvement lead for the Centre

Welcome to David Weatherill who takes on a key role in the Centre’s Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) team! We caught up with David to ask why he wanted to get more deeply involved with the Centre’s work.



David Weatherill
Patient and Public Involvement volunteer lead, David Weatherill

David, tell us a little bit about you

"I live in a small town called Monifieth located just a few miles from the City of Dundee. The town has a population of around 8,000, a coastal town situated on the northern shore of the Firth of Tay. I have experienced an ongoing series of serious health conditions that have impacted greatly on my day to day life. These have included tuberculosis, cancer, COPD, rheumatoid arthritis and laterally essential tremors."

What has made you want to get involved in research as a Patient and Public Involvement member and latterly as a volunteer lead?

"As a result of the care and support that I have been provided by the NHS throughout my life, I was initially concerned to “give something back” to the organisation. 

To that end, I became active in providing an insight into the real-life experiences of a patient through his journey to recovery from health issues.  Generally this has been undertaken whilst working with researchers on many different projects, firstly as a Public Advisory Group (PAG) member then more recently as a Public Participation Lead (PPI Lead)."

What does being a PPI lead involve?

"The role of PPI Lead is multi-faceted and can involve the Lead in every area of the life of a research project from the preliminary drafting of a protocol to dissemination of the findings at the conclusion of the work. I have been able to attend project steering group meetings to act as a representative public voice providing real-life experience of NHS care at Primary and Secondary Care levels and team progress meetings.

I have, on almost all projects, found that researchers welcome public input which results in a two-way learning experience. As trust is developed a single team comprising of members of the public and the researchers themselves is created."  

Can you give us some examples of the kinds of research projects you have been involved in previously?

"At the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic I was fortunate to be involved in the development of EAVE II surveillance platform which was initially used to track COVID-19 across Scotland, to identify those at highest risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes and investigate vaccine effectiveness and safety.

Other projects, where I have acted as PPI Lead, have drawn upon the EAVE II platform and have included: Long Term Covid, Winter Pressures, Hospital Re-admission

In each of these three projects, I have been involved in the initial drafting of the lay elements of the protocol that formed a part of the initial submission. I have attended both Steering Group and PAG meetings. As the projects developed, members of the PAG were given several presentations by the statisticians in order that they could develop an understanding of the work and provide feedback to the researchers."



We are looking forward to hearing more from David in the future! Best of luck in your new role!

Find out more about Patient and Public Involvement in the Centre.

Public Involvement