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NIHR establishes a Race Equality Public Action Group

 

The NIHR has announced the establishment of a Race Equality Public Action Group (REPAG) focused on public partnership.

Hosted by the NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination, the group aims to give people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities a stronger voice in shaping priorities for research, the design and delivery of research, the recruitment of BAME volunteers into studies, and the mobilisation of evidence into practice.

The group is part of NIHR’s broader efforts to improve equality, diversity and inclusion in health and social care research. It reflects recognition, highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, that BAME communities most affected by ill-health are also among the most under-represented voices influencing the research agenda.

The REPAG is an expert advisory group comprising public contributors, senior NIHR staff and members of the health and academic communities. It will be co-chaired by Professor Mala Rao, Senior Clinical Fellow at the Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Imperial College London, and Royston John, International CEO of the National Coalition-Building Institute. It will begin meeting this month.

REPAG will:

1. Help NIHR to strengthen its understanding of race inequality in health and social care research

2. Advise on actions for NIHR to take to ensure that race equality is embedded in the interactions between the research community and patients, service users, carers and the public.

Prof. Mala Rao said: “Since the inequalities that defined the everyday lives of our black and ethnic minority communities were so starkly exposed by the pandemic, research organisations have been reflecting on their role in this agenda. I am delighted that the NIHR has taken the step of establishing the REPAG and I very much look forward to working with colleagues to improve race equality in the research arena.”

Royston John added: “In 2020 NIHR is showing the way by its agenda to be more inclusive and I am proud to be part of that process.”