Earlier this year, we invited applications from people who would like to be ‘Cochrane UK Consumer Champions’*. The Consumer Champions role will involve advocating for evidence-based health care and Cochrane amongst organisations and patient groups in the UK. We will be introducing each of the Consumer Champions here. First is Brian Devlin, who introduces himself:
"I started as a patient advocate in the mid 1980s when I worked for an organisation in Edinburgh that supported injecting drug (mostly heroin) users. These marginalised and misunderstood people struggled, often with a range of social and care issues, to find balance and direction in their lives.
This was a time when the HIV problem became recognised in Edinburgh as different to other parts of the world due to the sharing of injecting paraphernalia. My interest in supporting people with HIV and AIDS grew out of that feverish time. I became an activist and a campaigner from that point on.
I'm profoundly deaf and use my social media presence to raise awareness of issues in this area. I’m also an ambassador for products and services which aim to make life easier for people with very personal and private medical conditions, including stoma care, and campaign to stop the stigma that people with stomas experience.
It seems a natural progression, as well as a great honour, for me to become a Consumer Champion for Cochrane UK. I was Director of PR in my NHS board until illness forced my retirement. So that I hope that I can use whatever communication skills I have picked up over the years to be a bridge between Cochrane and the wider community".
Brian Devlin is on Twitter: @BDevlin1
A warm welcome! We are really looking forward to working with Brian and each of the Consumer Champions.
- Find out more about the Cochrane UK Consumer Champions role
- Learn more about the other Consumer Champions
- Cochrane UK Consumer Champions: another step towards better patient and public involvement
*Cochrane uses the term ‘consumer’ to represent patients, carers and family members with experience of a healthcare condition.