What is CLAHRC EoE?
The National Institute of Health Research currently supports thirteen CLAHRCs across England. CLAHRC stands for ‘Collaborations in Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care’ and EoE refers to East of England, the region we cover.
Our CLAHRC is a collaboration of 3 Universities and all the NHS organisations in this region. We are all working together to improve the way health and social care research is undertaken, and the way the results of research are integrated into everyday practice. We focus on the needs of people with complex health problems including: the frail elderly, those with dementia, learning disabilities, acquired brain injuries or mental ill health. We aim to make sure that the findings of our academic studies can be used to make a real difference to front-line care.
What is Research?
The term research means different things to different people, but is essentially about gathering facts and information in order to answer a question. There are many ways in which the facts and information can be gathered, including:
- Interviewing patients, service users and carers
- Evaluating and measuring the benefits of new technologies
- In a laboratory
The long term aim of the research that CLAHRC EoE supports is to make a difference to people’s lives by improving treatment, services, practice and policy in health and social care.
What is Patient and Public Involvement?
Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) is where patients and members of the public are actively involved in research projects and in research organisations. When we talk about PPI, ‘patient’ means anyone who sees themselves as a patient, service user or carer, and this is currently or in the past.
Examples of how patients and the public can get involved are:
- Offering advice to researchers on a particular research question or issue
- Helping to develop information leaflets for people taking part in research that are easy to read and understandable
- Supporting the researchers with carrying out the research, for example by interviewing people taking part
- Helping to share the results of a research with patients and the public
What are the benefits of getting involved?
Getting involved in any of the various research stages can bring many benefits to people. These will be different for each person, but could include:
How can your involvement help researchers?
No matter how expert the researchers are in their field, there will always be things they have not considered from the point of view of the patients and the public. There is evidence that people with lay and lived experience bring a different perspective, which can add value at all stages of the research process. They ask fresh and different questions, which may have been overlooked by researchers and they often have a better understanding about the issues that really matter to patients/service users and the public.
By getting involved, patients and the public help researchers to:
- Ask research questions that are relevant to people who are experiencing or have experienced the health condition being researched
- Run their research project in a way that enables and supports people to take part as participants, which in turn provides more meaningful results
- Share the findings of the research so it can make a difference to treatment, practice and policy, which is how researchers show the research is important and useful.
- Understand how the research affects the community