Iris has held a series of government and third sector board & committee appointments focused on health, education and housing. Currently a member of the Law Society of Scotland, Health and Medical Law Committee and the Public Panel of the Farr Institute, with a keen interest in health research and informatics. A former lay member of the NHS England CRG in Morbid and Complex Obesity and in 2016 was a named contributor to an article published in Clinical Obesity. Iris is a person with obesity.
Patient and public involvement is very important to Iris as she believes it allows those who have experienced health problems to influence the design and delivery of health services, which are then better attuned to meeting their specific needs. She has taken PPI roles in a variety of health settings.
In 2012, Iris experienced a life changing event which led directly to her PPI involvement with obesity. Handed the board papers at her first NHS UK Committee meeting, commissioning/allocating research grant funding for Public Health Research, Iris discovered that 80% of the projects under consideration that day were targeted at obesity. Being all too aware of the stigma and discrimination attached to size, Iris initially felt that this was too sensitive an issue for her to be involved. She soon realised, however, that here was a unique opportunity to identify projects which had the potential of saving others from going through the same pain and who better placed to do this than a person with obesity?
Iris is proud to be a Champion for OEN –UK and to offer her insights and experience.