Getting involved in research doesn't always mean that you need to take part in a clinical trial.
We need a range of perspectives to ensure research in the NHS is as effective and as relevant for patients as possible. By sharing your knowledge and experience you can make a real difference and help to change patients’ lives. One of the strongest motives people give for getting involved in research is to work with researchers to help bring about improvements to health and to improve existing services and treatments.
What is public involvement?
Public involvement in research is defined as research that is done with or by the public and not to, about or for them (Involve www.invo.org.uk).
When we talk about ‘involvement’ we mean getting actively involved in the research process itself rather than being the participants or subjects of the research.
Healthcare professionals need members of the public and patients from all communities and of all ages to help make the research they do better and more relevant. Whether you're 8 years or old 80, you can help to make treatments and practices better for everyone by being the patient voice in research.
Why is it important for patients and the public to be involved with research?
There is an important distinction to be made between the perspective of patients, carers and service-users and those of people who have a professional role (such as doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses etc).
Why become involved in research?
There are opportunities for patients, carers and members of the public to be involved at all stages of the research pathway/cycle.
You might decide to become involved with health research for a wide variety of reasons.
Engagement is where information and knowledge about research is provided and shared.
Examples of engagement are:
There is a national initiative, the Patient Research Ambassador Initiative, that all CRNs, including ours, participate in and support. The purpose is to promote Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement in research across England and Wales.
A Patient Research Ambassador is someone who promotes health research from a patient point of view. They could be a patient, service user, carer or lay person who is enthusiastic about health research and willing to communicate that to other patients and public as well as healthcare professionals.
Find out more about becoming a Patient Research Ambassador in Kent, Surrey and Sussex by reading Get involved with NHS Research and help to make a difference.
There's no minimum ask or ongoing commitment and you can do as much or as little as you like, depending on how much time you have available.
Contact the Research and Development team at your hospital to find out more about their Patient Research Ambassadors or contact: Margaret Hall, PRA Coordinator, Clinical Research Network Kent, Surrey and Sussex, email: email@example.com
To find out more about Patient Research Ambassadors, visit their website: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/patients-carers-and-the-public/i-want-to-help-with-research/become-a-patient-research-ambassador.htm
Read why patients and members of the public from across Kent, Surrey and Sussex have become Patient Research Ambassadors.
At the end of 2017, a Young People’s Advisory Group (YPAG) for research was established in the Kent, Surrey and Sussex region for young people aged 8 to 18 years old.
If you would like more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org