Blog: Meet last year’s Richard Driscoll Memorial Award winner!

Published: 17 Sep 2021

As the deadline to submit entries to the Richard Driscoll Memorial Award gets closer, we speak to Sarah Oyebanjo, Project Manager for the National Early Inflammatory Arthritis Audit (NEIAA) and last year’s winner to find out what winning the Richard Driscoll Memorial Award meant to the team and how patient and public involvement (PPI) is embedded in their work.

“Winning the national award in recognition of our excellent patient and public involvement during such a challenging year for the healthcare sector was of great importance to the NEIAA team. This award presented an opportunity to highlight the fantastic work that our patient panel, alongside our charity partners, contribute to the audit. Over the last year, this has included the development of an ‘ideal service framework’, designed by patients based on their own experiences and expectations. This excellent resource supports rheumatology services to improve patient experience across the patient pathway.  

“The NEIAA patient panel contributes to the content and format of the annual patient and public report. As a result of the pandemic, the NEIAA will not be publishing a full annual report in 2021 but will instead be publishing a short report on the relationship between ethnicity, three-month remission and the seven quality metrics set out in NICE Quality Standard 33 (2013 version). Our patient panel and charity partners will be vital in developing the recommendations from this report.  

“The panel continues to be embedded throughout our work, with our patient panel chair presenting in the main session at our annual conference in April. This provided another opportunity for the patient voice to be heard by rheumatology professionals worldwide. 

“The whole NEIAA team acknowledges the benefits of the patient panel and representatives from relevant patient charities who sit on our governance groups. Winning this award allowed us to identify what we are doing well and areas to explore further. We will continue to champion patient and public involvement as they provide invaluable insight to improving the quality of care provided for patients with inflammatory arthritis.”

To find out more about the Richard Driscoll Memorial Award and how to enter, visit our webpage