Public and patient involvement and engagement

Our CLAHRC investigates real-world problems and aims to come up with practical solutions – this could be a new medical device, a new or improved service or a better way of doing things. We then provide support to get research into practice as quickly as possible.

At NIHR CLAHRC North Thames patients and the public are already making a big contribution to our research – helping us define the questions our research should answer, helping us decide the outcomes that would benefit patients, service users and those close to them most and bringing some real-world perspective to our work.

Our Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement strategy outlines our commitment to effective PPI/E and the resources we are allocating to make this happen.

We recruited a Research Advisory Panel of laypeople to guide us on how we involve and monitor how we are doing – holding us to the pledges set out in our involvement and engagement strategies and acting as a sounding board for our ideas for involvement and helping us with how we communicate what we do. They work with researchers to advise on how we design and carry out our research, and how we attract approach the people and communities we want to take part in our projects.


We have also set up a virtual Document Review Panel to assess materials such as consent forms and patient information sheets for “Plain English” and accessibility.

Our Patient and Public Involvement lead Steven Towndrow will support patients and the public involved in our research work so they can make the biggest impact and bring some real-world perspective and life experience to research and be a partner in the research team.


Steven Towndrow, Patient and Public Involvement Officer for NIHR CLAHRC North Thames

Contact Steven if you are interested in getting involved in our research.

Working with other CLAHRCS in involving people

We enjoy an excellent working relationship with our neighbouring London CLAHRCS, and we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding”  on how we will work together to support and complement each other’s involvement activity.

We have also joined forces to present the Brian Turley Awards for Patient and Public Involvement created to celebrate and promote patient and carer involvement in healthcare research and improvement. The awards aim to celebrate and promote patient and carer involvement in healthcare research and improvement – aiming to

  • Raise the profile of involvement
  • Showcase examples from practice
  • Promote reflection and shared learning
  • Discourage ‘tick box practice’

We also have close links to PenCLAHRC’s involvement team and public contributors. In September 2017 we carried out a learning exchange visit to the PenCLAHRC team and plan a return visit to London in 2018.