We believe that the active involvement of the patients and the public in the research process leads to research that is more relevant to people and is more likely to be used. Research which reflects the needs and views of the patients and the public is more likely to produce results that can be used to improve practice in health and social. Members of the public bring perspectives and skills that are not always the same as those of researchers and health and social care professionals. Their involvement helps to ensure that the entire research process is focused on what is important to people and is therefore more relevant and acceptable to the users of services.
Patient and public representatives can provide researchers with vital life experience perspectives. If they or a member of their family have a certain condition which requires specific treatment, they will be able to advise what will be off-putting to patients and therefore, what may affect recruitment to a trial.
Patients and the public have a vital role in the research we support.
There are lots of reasons why people get involved in research whether it is as a participant taking part in a trial, or being part of a patient representative group.
Here are a number of quotes illustrating why people have got involved:
“Joining a PPIE Group gave me hope that things will change for future patients.”
“Research today could help prevent my children and grandchildren from developing Alzheimer’s in the future.”
“As a patient with a now life long illness being able to have some input in future research makes what I have gone through worth something.”
“Patient and public involvement (PPI) in research can potentially help researchers make sure that the design of their research is relevant, that it is participant friendly and ethically sound.” Heather Bagley et al. Research Involvement and Engagement (2016).”
“I can do my bit help to make research participant friendly and relevant. I would love to see more patient and public involvement in research! It really does make a world of difference.”
A Patient Research Ambassador (PRA) 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 is willing to communicate that to other patients, the public, as well as other healthcare professionals.
As NHS researchers we recognise the importance of research in delivering health care and this is why we would like to involve patients. As a Patient Research Ambassador you can help to ensure that people using local NHS care have the best opportunities and choices about taking part in research studies.
There are a number of ways that you can get involved as a patient or public representative including:
There are lots of places to learn more about PPIE and getting involved.
Information about the work being done around the NIHR PPIE network, news stories, opportunities and a lot more:
For more information about the NIHR Research Champion Programme please see:
Contains information about the work of the UKCRF and how they engage and collaborate with patients and members of the public.