(Patient & Public Involvement)

Working closely with the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, patients and the public are at the heart of everything we do. We have active partnerships with members of the public to involve them at all stages of the research process, enabling our research to benefit from their wealth of experience and their valuable perspectives on the way that it is designed and delivered.

There are three key elements to these partnerships:

Involvement: where members of the public are actively involved in our research

Public involvement helps us to shape our research – from the earliest study ideas to the design of methods and plans for analysis. For our most recent public involvement activity, to develop the application for the ADMISSION project, we held our discussions with members of the public on-line, due to travel restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.  We ran a series of workshops with patients and carers, whose lives have been affected by long-term conditions, to discuss hospital care, health priorities and how to design the PPI strategy for ADMISSION. Although this was our first experience of taking our involvement activity on-line, working remotely had some great advantages - making attendance easier, and enabling us to connect with a diverse group of workshop participants across the UK.  Public involvement will be embedded in ADMISSION throughout its duration: we will continue to work closely with two of the workshop members who joined the team as co-applicants in 2020, and will meet regularly with a Patient Advisory Group (PAG). Our first PAG meeting was held in March to plan out the PPI activity and recruiting new members to join the group.

First meeting of the ADMISSION Patient Advisory Group meeting (March 2021)

Engagement: where information about our research is disseminated and shared with the public

Feedback is an important part of our research and we regularly engage with the public to share information about our progress and new findings.  Sometimes this is at public engagement events, such as research open days, but in addition we raise awareness of our work through interaction with the media and with social media.  Public involvement is also key to these engagement activities, and we work with members of the public to develop new activities and strategies, ensuring that our events are tailored, based on their views and experience. 

In May 2020, we took part in a virtual engagement event with the general public. Working with VOICE we ran the first Faculty of Medical Science virtual Research Coffee Morning. Joined by an audience of 93, the focus of the event was on exercise and nutrition during the Covid-19 lockdown. We presented the results from the MIlkMAN study, and discussed the motivators and barriers in engaging in exercising at home during the pandemic. Read more about this event here.

Participation: where members of the public have the opportunity to take part in our research

We also involve members of the public directly in our research when we recruit them to take part in our studies.  Sometimes this involves completing questionnaires and having measurements taken - others, such as MET-PREVENT, are clinical trials, in which we test a type of intervention.  

If you would like to find out more about being a participant in research, the following links may be useful:

NIHR Patient, Carer and Public Involvement

NIHR Involve - How to get involved