FionaP University of Hertfordshire Research staff portrait - Photography 2013 © Pete Stevens Led by Professor Fiona Poland (University of East Anglia), and Dr Elspeth Mathie (University of Hertfordshire), this theme focuses not only on implementation of current best practice, but also on applied research that defines and develops optimal approaches to PPI/E in applied health research, implementation science and the process of innovation. Patient and Public Involvement and engagement (PPI/E) lies at the heart of current health policy and is seen as an essential element in ensuring patient safety, improving health outcomes and patient experience, and enhancing research quality and outcomes. While there has been a paradigm shift towards partnership working with patients, there continues to be a dearth of evidence about the impact of PPI/E on health research. The aim of the theme is to improve understanding of how PPI/E in research can enhance the relevance, quality of experience and impact of NHS research for patients. In the context of the CLAHRC, our core strategic principles for PPI/E are for it to be “embedded, comprehensive and active” in each CLAHRC project, and for this to be further developed and conceptualised over the duration of CLAHRC East of England. All NIHR funded research is required to demonstrate good quality PPI/E and to have a clear pathway to demonstrate “impact”. This has been shown to have a strong relationship to the production of more relevant, feasible and acceptable evidenced interventions and research designs. The implementation of the proposed programme of research and activity will enable a more strongly conceptualised and evidenced effective contribution of PPI/E to diverse health care research and interventions. This will be achieved by:

  • Recognising PPI/E as an integral part of every CLAHRC East of England project.
  • Encouraging all CLAHRC projects to have 5% of the resources to support the project’s PPI/E activity.
  • Including diverse populations in the project design and throughout the research and implementation process to dissemination.
  • Encouraging links between PPI/E stakeholders and initiatives at local and regional levels to support active learning and collaboration.
  • Identifying a PPI/E co-ordinator for each theme.

The CLAHRC EoE PPI/E Strategy can be seen in full here