Patients, industry and charity – a recipe for success

BDRF attended an event with Olympus Medical and brought along patients from the ACPGBI patient liaison group to help spread the word about our work.

Olympus are a world-leading manufacturer of optical and digital precision technology. They develop and sell innovative medical technology, digital cameras and solutions for science and industry.

They state their purpose as a company in “Making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling”.

BDRF shares that purpose and they are values that we also live by as a charitable organisation working for people with bowel disease.

This year Olympus are celebrating 100 years in business and staff wanted to do something special to bring their teams closer to the people who benefit from the products that they develop –  making clear that no matter what part of the company you work for there’s a person in need at the end of it.

So, Olympus asked BDRF if any of the patients involved in our research work would be willing to speak to staff about their experience of bowel surgery.

Prof Bob Arnott, Sarah Squire and Ian Jackson of the ACPGBI’s patient liaison group were only too happy to answer the call.

First up, each of the 3 speakers sat down with Olympus’ Director of Medical & Surgical Business for the UK & Ireland Francis White. All three live with permanent stomas for different reasons – Bob is a Crohn’s patient, Sarah was affected by a fistula and Ian is a bowel cancer survivor. Every one of them spoke candidly, passionately and sometimes gruesomely on the realities of life after bowel surgery. It is no exaggeration to say you could hear a pin drop during the emotional stories, but these were also shot through with humour and hope.

Following this, Olympus staff had the chance to put questions to the guys – in a session moderated by our CEO Peter Rowbottom. These got the heart of some of the personal themes of discussion, and was really valued and appreciated by the speakers and audience alike. Peter comments;

“It makes sense for a small charity like ours that makes a big impact for people with bowel disease,  to collaborate with industry partners who share our purpose. We were delighted to be asked to be part of this day and welcome the opportunity to promote the benefit patients get from being involved in our research with people who work in our sector”

Francis White, Director of Medical & Surgical Business, Olympus Medical UKIE was also upbeat about the days achievements;

“What a wonderful privilege to have BDRF and amazing patients Bob, Ian and Sarah join us at our 100-year celebrations! As we heard powerful accounts of their experiences of bowel disease and the role our technology can play in helping their clinical teams address their issues, there was hardly a dry eye in the house.

An incredibly powerful reminder of the many individuals and teams that together fulfil our purpose of making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling.

Over 95% of staff rated this session as the best part of the day and we are looking forward to more such collaborative opportunities with BDRF in the future.” –

Since the day, staff from Olympus have commented:

“The Patient Perspective session was brilliant. Found it quite emotional taking a real look at what our products can do. Very empowering, definitely improved motivation too.”

“I just wanted to thank the patients for sharing their story. You three are truly inspirational and I wish you all the best for the future!”

“I think the patient experience session was fantastic and a really poignant reminder of why we are all here and what impact we can have.”

We are very grateful to Olympus for inviting us, and to Bob, Sarah and Ian for giving up their time to share what are deeply personal stories.

We look forward to working together more in the future as we strive toward our common goal – saving and changing the lives of more and more patients through better treatment & diagnostic methods, and ultimately a world where bowel disease is eradicated.

If you work for a company that shares our values and wants to help us with our vision of one day eradicating bowel disease then please do get in touch and we’d be happy to discuss further.

E mail : [email protected] or call 0207 869 6945