Our Involvement and Engagement Strategy

NIHR CLAHRC North Thames is committed to involving patients and the public in the development and execution of our research, as well as in decision-making about our strategic direction and engagement activities. Read our Strategy for doing this below

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We are committed to involving patients and public in our work, to ensure we carry out the highest quality research
We recognise that patients, service users and carers are experts in their own experience and their own health. This experience is a fundamental and valued source of knowledge

We will ensure all of our projects should include the active involvement of the public (where appropriate)
We will take a flexible approach to involvement relative to the particular type of projects involved, and the type of involvement best suited to making the research effective

We will strive to involve patients and the public in strategic planning for our CLAHRC as well as our day-to-day research work
We will continue to involve laypeople working with us in discussions about our future direction and engagement strategies

We are committed to taking advantage of our extensive networks and collaborations to widen the involvement of groups and individuals previously excluded from research and the research process
To do this we will take advantage of our partnerships across North Thames – including the Barts and UCL Joint Management Research Offices, UCL and Queen Mary’s Public Engagement Units and the UCLPartners Involvement Leads Network.

We will ensure that those we would wish to recruit to participate in our research are able to make decisions based on high quality and accessible information
We will ensure recruitment information and supporting documents relating to our studies are reviewed by lay people to ensure that they are clearly written and appropriately targeted

We are committed to making our communication outputs available in clearly understandable formats and accessible for the widest possible audience
We will continue to explore alternative media to highlight our work. This will include short films, infographics and illustrations, as well as graphic facilitation of events and meetings. We will also involve patients and public in refreshing our website.

We are committed to ensuring laypeople’s contribution is valued, and that they are kept informed about how their comments, ideas and suggestions are taken forward
We will ensure the “feedback loop” is completed so our lay advisors know how their input has shaped our work. All researchers engaging with our Research Advisory Panel and virtual document review panel will be expected to report on how contributions are taken forward (and if not why not)

We will commit sufficient resources to making PPI/E successful
As well as financing PPI activity we will utilise the skills and experience of our CLAHRC core team, dedicated PPI/E Officer, Research Facilitator and Engagement Coordinator. We will also coordinate our efforts with our two neighbouring London CLAHRCS, building on our Memorandum of Understanding on Involvement and Engagement.

We will acknowledge, recognise and reward patients and public for their contribution to our work In line with INVOLVE guidance and good practice we will offer financial reward where appropriate, and explore alternatives where it is not

We will continue to support the development of laypeople working with us, and provide the help and information they need to make an effective contribution
We will ensure we signpost our patient and public contributors to involvement and development opportunities (e.g. training courses, external events, talks or seminars). We will also facilitate peer learning and support individual development (e.g. by encouraging our patient and pubic partners to take part in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)).

We will be reflective on how our PPI/E strategies are progressing, and where we need to change or improve – being open to ideas and suggestions from laypeople we work with to improve involvement
Mechanisms for regular internal and independent monitoring of PPI activity against aims include; PPI/E as a standing agenda item for CLAHRC research theme meetings; required sections on patient and public involvement and engagement activity in our quarterly reporting processes; annual reviews of our Research Advisory and Document Review Panels, offering members the chance to suggest changes and improvements to the involvement process.