Patient & Public Awareness
Involving patients and members of the public in research can lead to better research, clearer outcomes, and faster uptake of new evidence.
The NIHR encourages patients and the public to be actively involved in all NIHR-funded health and social care research, to:
· Set research priorities
· Identify the important questions that health and social care research needs to answer
· Give their views on research proposals alongside clinicians, methodologists, scientists, and public health and other professionals
· Help assess proposals for funding
· Take part in clinical trials and other health and social care research studies, not just as subjects but as active partners in the research process
· Publicise the results.
The NIHR has put structures in place that will help people take part in all the stages of NHS research. Examples are:
· All the NIHR’s Research Programmes actively engage patients and the public in all stages of research. The NIHR coordinating centres recruit members of the public to help in the commissioning and reviewing of NIHR research proposals.
· Funds INVOLVE which promotes active public participation in NHS, public health and social care research to improve the way that research is prioritised, commissioned, undertaken, communicated and used.
· People in Research a web-based resource for members of the public who are looking for opportunities to get involved in research. The website has a searchable database of research organisations that are looking for people who are willing to participate in the different stages of the research process.
· Established the Clinical Research Network (CRN) across England to increase the number of people recruited onto clinical trials in the NHS.
· The UK Clinical Trials Gateway, which offers lay summaries of clinical trials to provide a practical way for patients to access information about trials that may be relevant to their condition.
Further sources of information
The NIHR works with other research partners to provide information about health research and development in a way that can be understood by patients and the public and encourage people to help us to understand the issues that are vitally important to health research.
NHS Choices provides information for the public about the NHS and about health conditions, including information about medical research.
Healthtalkonline website run by the DIPEx charity, allows members of the public to share in other people's experiences of health and illness. Visitors can watch or listen to videos of the interviews, read about people's experiences and find reliable information about conditions, treatment choices and support.
The NHS Constitution
The handbook to the NHS Constitution published in January 2009 pledges to do everything possible to ensure that patients from every part of England are aware of research that is of particular relevance to them.
Further information about the NHS Constitution