Patient and public involvement

Working in partnership with patients, service users and families

Patients are at the heart of everything that we do, and as such should be integral when we think about undertaking research. Working in partnership with our patients to understand how things could be better and to develop research questions will ensure that the research that is carried out is meaningful to the people that use NHS services.

Involving patients as early as possible in the ideas and design phase of the project is critical. They will help create the right questions. They will also make sure that the methods you may be considering are appropriate for your patients, are not too burdensome and that they promote positive involvement in research. It is also vital to work in partnership with patients to disseminate research results via appropriate channels for both a professional and public audience. All grant and other funding panels have patients or the public helping them to decide who gets the money – if you don’t have good and credible evidence of patient involvement, you will not be successful in obtaining funding.

You can support patients to get involved throughout the research process. You may decide to work alongside a small group of patients throughout the project or collaborate with different people at different stages. Patients should be given every opportunity to participate in the process as much as they would like, for example acting as a co-applicant on a grant, helping to write lay summaries or presenting results at conferences or events.

It is important that patients are treated respectfully and as equal members of the team. As such they should be offered reimbursement for their time and travel expenses and guidance on this can be found in detail on the INVOLVE website. Patient involvement must be costed into all funding applications and Solent has a local process for patients to claim back their expenses.

We appreciate that involving patients can seem daunting; we are here to help. The team has a dedicated Patient Participation Team who can support you.

Additional resources:

If you would like more information or would like to discuss how to include patients in your research please contact us. 

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