Glasgow Memory Clinic is an Independent Research Organisation dedicated to conducting a range of clinical trials to find better treatments for those with Memory Impairment, Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. Their main objective is to ultimately find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
They run a dedicated facility within the West of Scotland Science Park where they rely entirely on volunteers to take part in their clinical trials. A significant part of the Clinic’s role is to ensure an informative, relaxed and positive experience for anyone who gets in touch with them – this is where the Patient Liaison team carry out a vital function. Here’s what Patient Liaison Supervisor, Laura Main had to say about working for Glasgow Memory Clinic:
Q: What was your background before joining Glasgow Memory Clinic?
A (Laura): I have worked in several different roles in my career; all of which were people focused. I started my working life in broadcasting, as a Personnel Secretary at BBC Television Centre, London; then back in Glasgow as Recruitment Assistant with BBC Scotland. In between having a family, I was the Viewer Information Officer at Scottish Television, again a role which was focused on providing a service to the general public. Before my current role with Glasgow Memory Clinic, I was employed for ten years as a GP Practice Office Administrator; of all the roles, this gave me the experience and understanding of the patient journey in the healthcare system and in particular those with memory problems.
Q: Describe a typical day for you?
A (Laura): At the start of the day, I meet with my team in Patient Liaison to discuss the priorities for that day. Our aim is to contact as many of the hundreds of enquiries we receive each week as we can. I work closely with all the departments in the Clinic to ensure the patient journey runs as smoothly as possible – from the first phone call – to attending the Clinic. It’s safe to say – no one day is the same.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge since joining Glasgow Memory Clinic?
A (Laura): The transition to our new computerised research system has been a major challenge for all departments in the clinic. Like many health and research organisations – we are trying to go ‘paper-light’; freeing up more work time to inputting crucial research data in a more efficient manner.
Q: What has been your biggest professional success/achievement?
A (Laura): Possibly my biggest career step to date has been taking on the role of Patient Liaison Supervisor in August 2016. I am responsible for overseeing a team of five staff. It is my team’s role to reach out to as many volunteers as possible. I help guide them in this important part of the research process. To find new and better treatments for this terrible disease, researchers requirethousands of volunteers worldwide; the Patient Liaison staff respond to hundreds of enquiries to achieve this goal.
Q: What is your favourite thing about working for Glasgow Memory Clinic?
A (Laura): Definitely, the staff! They are so friendly, understanding and extremely dedicated. I’m also very proud of the part I’m playing in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
Q: What do you do to relax/unwind?
A (Laura): I enjoy painting – mostly landscapes, although my free time is currently being taken up with DIY paintwork! I’m lucky enough to live in a village on the outskirts of Glasgow and beautiful country walks are just on my doorstep. Spending time with my grown-up family and my elderly father who has Alzheimer’s is without doubt the most important part of my life.
Q: What’s the best piece of work related or personal advice you have received?
A (Laura): Don’t look back with regret, always live in the now and look ahead.
Q: What would you say to someone who has never considered getting involved with a clinical trial?
A (Laura): There are many benefits associated with taking part in clinical research; including regular health check-ups and the possibility of receiving access to promising new treatments for a condition. I personally feel that the chance to play a part in research that will not only benefit yourself, but your children and your children’s children is very worthwhile.