Patient and public involvement across CLAHRCs – collaborating and sharing knowledge with PenCLAHRC

As we reflect on five years of CLAHRC research, and look forward to the transition to their successor – Applied Research Collaborations (or ARCs) – we welcomed staff and patient and public contributors from CLAHRC South West Peninsula (PenCLAHRC) – for a learning exchange visit on July 4th.

The meeting was a follow up to our trip to PenCLAHRC last September where we established relationships between the respective involvement teams and patient/public partners on the start of a journey where we will collaborate and share good practice wherever we can.

CLAHRC North Thames Deputy Director Professor Mike Roberts (below) opened the meeting by welcoming our guests and highlighting their vital role in shaping the ARCs. Mike outlined the part they could play in implementation and adoption of research – a new area for ARCs compared to CLAHRCs and a part of the research cycle where patient and public involvement does not traditionally happen.

CLAHRC North Thames researchers Dr Darren Sharpe (University of East London, below) and Chloe Edridge (Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families) joined the meeting to bring some researcher’s perspective to discussions, and both spoke of the impact involving people has made on their work.

We then welcomed Dr Helen MacDonald (below, left) a Public health registrar working across UCL and the London Borough of Islington on research funded by the Health Foundation. Helen is investigating Linking health and local government data at household level to understand social determinants of health. Linking local government information with health data offers an opportunity to better understand the local population’s combined health and social needs and to improve health and wellbeing in the widest sense across the Borough.

Specialist innovation and technology firm Snap Out are working with the Council on this programme – they facilitated a co-design session to shape the approach to seeking advice from the local Islington public and patient population about the linked dataset and the acceptable use of data as a result of the linked dataset.

This led to some in-depth discussions on how Islington might do this.

To close the meeting we then worked on what involvement in ARCs could look like, how we can collect and demonstrate the impact of involvement and how we can collaborate to improve research and make the most of the skills and experience across both CLAHRCS.

Our thanks to everyone who attended, to Steph Hume from the CLAHRC North Thames team, to Dr Kristin Liabo from PenCLAHRC for helping plan and facilitate the day, to Darren and Chloe for taking the time from their busy schedules to join us, and to UCL Estates and Security for helping make the meeting accessible.