The Gas Safety Trust (GST) is to provide funds to Liverpool John Moores University for an ongoing study into the experience of those who have been poisoned by carbon monoxide (CO), whether this be acute or chronic, low level exposure.
The evidence collected so far reveals a great need for this research, as participants report a devastating ‘fragmentation’ of their lives due to being poisoned. More than one participant has referred to the experience as being in ‘no man’s land’, as very little currently exists in the way of help and support.
This research will give the survivors of CO poisoning a way to express what has happened to them. This aligns with the focus on patient voice, as many Government/NHS documents emphasise the importance of listening to patients.
Many of these people have never had the opportunity to share what happened to them; the opportunity has never arisen because no one has thought to ask those questions; they are the silent victims.
Chris Bielby, GST Chair said: “The work being undertaken by Liverpool John Moore University will fill a critical gap in our understanding of carbon monoxide poisoning. A better understanding of the experiences of those who have been poisoned will help us to improve diagnosis, treatment and the way in which we deal with people. This is an important piece of work which will be keenly watched by policymakers, industry and healthcare professionals.”
Julie Connolly, Senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University said: “I am delighted at the recognition that the Gas Safety Trust are giving to my research. In showing this progressive attitude, they are acknowledging the importance of listening to people’s experiences, which helps us gain a comprehensive perspective of the devastating nature of carbon monoxide poisoning. This is vital for all those who have been affected.”