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Patient and public involvement and engagement

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Would you like to have a say in how research at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) is undertaken? If so, you can work with us to help develop the research studies that you need and want.

With your help, UHB research staff can design studies that people are keen to take part in and help to improve the lives of patients.

No research or medical knowledge is required to take part and everyone is welcome. Our aim is for patients and the public to play a vital role at the centre of our medical research.

Former Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health and Social Care, Professor Dame Sally Davies, said: "People-focused research in the NHS simply cannot be delivered without the involvement of patients and the public. No matter how complicated the research or how brilliant the researchers, patients and the public always offer unique, invaluable insight."

What is patient and public involvement and engagement?

Patient and public involvement and engagement is researchers and members of the public working together to improve research for the benefit of everyone.

Involving and engaging with patients and the public means research is completed "with" people rather than "about" them.

You can contribute to research in many ways by giving advice on the following:

  • Is the research idea right?
  • Is the research asking the right questions?
  • Can the research plan be changed to make it better for the research volunteers?
  • Is the information provided clear and understandable?
  • Are there any ethical concerns about the proposed research?
  • How can the results be made available to the public?
  • What is the best way to recruit volunteers for the study?

Why should you get involved?

Getting involved gives you a chance to have your say on health research at UHB. You will meet new people who share your interest in research or your health condition, get to know our scientists and be at the heart of brand new developments.

Some activities of our public contributors include:

  • helping to shape research showcase events and taking part in them
  • working with researchers to design patient information leaflets for clinical trials
  • shaping research plans through discussions with medical scientists
  • testing out new apps, surveys or prototype devices
  • seeing demonstrations of new equipment
  • going on lab tours to see behind the scenes of scientific discoveries

One of our patients, Elspeth, said: "Becoming a patient research partner is one of the most interesting things I've done. I've met some really interesting people, got to know the doctors and scientists who are working so hard to discover ways to prevent and cure our disease and felt that my contributions are both welcomed and valued. I do hope you will come and join us."

Why is patient and public involvement and engagement important to us?

We know that involving patients and the public throughout the entire process improves the quality, usefulness and practicalities of health research projects. Ultimately this improves research so that we get better treatments for our patients.

Who can get involved?

Patient and public involvement and engagement in research is for everyone and no previous experience or specialist knowledge is required.

To get involved you will need to be willing to give your viewpoint. This might be from your experience of a health condition, but researchers also want to hear the views of general members of the public.

No matter your age, ability, background or commitments, you can get involved. You can participate in many ways by having as much or as little involvement as you like depending on the time you have to spare. We also accommodate different work patterns and access to technology so that any involvement suits you.

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Last reviewed: 01 June 2021