Despite being diagnosed with disabling rheumatoid arthritis at 19, further complicated by a major trauma during a kidnap attempt in the Caucasus, undergoing 20+ major operations and surviving a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage at 32 - Pida Ripley worked 24/7 in a voluntary role for several decades in highly stressful situations. Unfortunately she suffered a major health collapse in 2006 and her humanitarian activities were necessarily suspended.
Slowly regaining limited health, she has maintained her active interest in national security issues and renewed her personal interest in UK based health issues.
Finding an alternative way to ‘make a difference’
In the 1980s she was privileged to serve 4 years as a Department of Health representative Governor of the Royal Marsden Hospital and has worked in several countries promoting public health issues. The Royal Marsden was the first hospital in the world dedicated to the study, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. It was founded as the Free Cancer Hospital in 1851 by Dr William Marsden.
In 2008 she was elected a Patient Governor of King’s College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, where she served for over 7 years. Over the last 170 years, King’s has built its reputation as a world class hospital, with roots that lie firmly in the heart of its local community. It is both a leading teaching hospital and a local hospital with a diverse inner city population.
As a dedicated Patient Advocate highly concerned about patient safety, in 2010/11 she also served on the PSSQ-NIHR KCL/KCH Research Centre for Patient Safety & Service Quality Steering Group.
Over the last ten years Pida has contributed to and participated in many high level patient experience and safety related groups focused on HCAI/infection control, Dignity in Design, a Royal College of Art project, antibiotic resistance, improving patient pathways and NHS policy development.
British Orthopaedic Association Patient Liaison Group
Pida served as a member of the British Orthopaedic Association Patient Liaison Group (BOA-PLG) for five years (2013-18). The BOA is the surgical speciality association for trauma and orthopaedics in the UK. She was a member of The Guideline Development Group (The GDG Members) for the Blue Book Review by BOA and British Society for Surgery of the Hand (BSSH) on ‘Best Practice for management of Distal Radial Fractures, DRFs.’ Adult DRFs are common injuries at any age but particularly in the older person where they may be associated with osteoporosis or osteopenia and so are considered fragility fractures. The treatment of patients with DRFs remains controversial. The document collates the current evidence from English language journals that considers the management of patients with DRFs from presentation to rehabilitation with reference to Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs). The guidelines complement the BOA Standards for Trauma (BOAST) guidelines.
For more information: https://www.boa.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Blue-Book-DRF-Final-Dra...
NIHR Appointed Public Contributor
Patient experience and perspectives are crucial for helping guide research, and patients play an important part in the translation and dissemination of findings. In 2017, after reading about her survival and recovery from major multiple trauma, the York Trials Unit contacted Pida requesting her involvement in an important clinical trial. Awarded funding by HTA, York Trials Unit in collaboration with Hull East Yorkshire are undertaking a surgical trial, led by Hemant Sharma, on external frame versus internal locking plate for articular pilon fracture fixation:: a multi-centre pilot RCT. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) then appointed her the Public Contributor to the 5-year orthopaedic surgical trial.
A survey of consultant orthopaedic surgeons in the UK, found this area was ranked as one of the most important research questions in orthopaedic surgery as surgeons have differing views about the best treatment for pilon fractures. NB: The National Institute for Health Research is the largest national clinical research funder in Europe with a budget of over £1 billion.
Centre for Trauma Services - After Trauma App
There are over 100,000 health apps available to people in the UK, but none geared towards helping survivors of traumatic injury recover.
Trauma survivors commonly describe their experience of leaving hospital and trying to start life again back home as "like falling off a cliff".
Crucially, many do not have a plain English summary of their injuries, their treatment in hospital, a rehabilitation plan post-discharge, or a set of goals they can use to monitor their recovery progress.
As a multiple trauma survivor hospitalised for four months, Pida Ripley shared that experience and consequently was delighted to be invited by BARTS Centre for Trauma Sciences to participate in the co-design of an AfterTrauma recovery app -a simple to use interactive digital tool for trauma survivors.
Her experiences as a patient fuels her passion to ensure the feedback from patients drives service improvement and research design. http://www.c4ts.qmul.ac.uk/get-involved/get-involved
London Choosing Wisely Steering Group
In 2018 Pida was appointed to the Healthy London Partnership, London Choosing Wisely Steering Group - a clinically-led review of evidence for a set of surgical procedures, including hip and knee arthroplasty. The programme sought to ensure that the procedures are used consistently across London and their use follows a criteria that ultimately improves the health of patients.
New Policy Research Unit (PRU) at Policy Institute, King's College London
Pida is one of the co-applicants of a successful £5 million funding bid to establish a 5-year Policy Research Unit (PRU). Health and Social Care Workforce Research Unit, (HSCWRU) will run from 2019-23.
Based at the Policy Institute at King’s College London, it is one of the UK's 13 new policy research units. This new PRU continues but expands the role of the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London whose work is rolling over to the new unit. Unit Director, Prof Jill Manthorpe, said ‘We are greatly looking forward to our new role in addressing the workforce challenges for policy makers across health and social care. Millions of people work in health and social care services and want to do a great job. The public relies on them at the moment of their birth and often at the end of life; this makes workforce research hugely important to us all.'
As well as the research team from the current Social Care Workforce Research Unit, the new unit expands with the joining of economic researchers from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (Dr Elaine Kelly and Prof Carol Propper), and the King’s College London’s Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care (Prof Anne Marie Rafferty), King's Business School (Prof Ian Kessler) and with the PRU public and patient involvement and engagement led by KCL Visiting Research Fellow, Mrs Pida Ripley.
'Patients and the public deserve a healthcare system that is informed by the latest research and evidence. The NIHR Policy Research Units will make sure that Government decisions affecting our health and care are robust and evidence based.' Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Scientific Adviser, Department of Health and Social Care.
Currently Pida is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Policy Institute, King's College, London.
Launch of a Free Global AMR Resource Website
A global public health crisis Is looming as many bacterial organisms have, or are developing, resistance to antimicrobials, leading to increased deaths and escalating associated healthcare costs.
70 years ago 9 out of 10 people who contracted pneumonia died.
After penicillin was discovered only 1 out 10 died.
To mark World Antibiotic Awareness Week and the annual European Antibiotic Awareness Day, 18 November 2018, WomenAid International founder, Pida Ripley, launched a free global antimicrobial resource website. She created CombatAMR.org as a personal contribution to help meet the increasing antimicrobial resistance global threat by showcasing both government and corporate strategic policy development and action, research, innovation and ideas thus providing civil society access to greater knowledge and awareness.
Due to misguided use and abuse of antibiotics, we are all now standing on the threshold of a post-antibiotic era. Antibiotics have saved millions of lives and ushered in modern medicine - which is now under threat. No new antibiotics have been discovered for almost 30 years and the pipeline is empty as pharmaceutical companies are reluctant to undertake years of expensive research investment with minimal profit. Every year there are over 700,000 deaths caused by drug resistant infections and global experts predict 10 million deaths a year by 2050 if we fail to counteract the increasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Young or old, rich or poor, all are equally vulnerable. Antibiotics are a precious global resource and we each have a global responsibility to conserve and protect those antibiotics still effective against drug resistant infections. Most certainly we will have to endure some years of increased deaths caused by drug resistant infections - and change our behaviour. The search is on for both new antibiotics and the development of the rich seam offered by alternative therapeutics. See Twitter: @CombatAMR.org
A race is now on to discover new antibiotics as well as novel therapeutics
and in the meantime to conserve antibiotics available.