Since 2003, the NHS has had a duty to involve and consult people about changes to health services. This duty to involve has now been strengthened with the publication of ‘Best Research for Best Health’ (2006) and the acknowledgement that engaging patients and members of the public leads to research that is more relevant to people’s needs and concerns, is more reliable and more likely to be put into practice.
The Oxford Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre (OxBRC) is a partnership between the research expertise of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Oxford. It was founded in April 2007 through a competitively awarded grant of £57.5M over five years from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), which was established to carry forward the Government’s research strategy, “Best Research for Best Health”. The goal of the health research strategy is to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research and establish the NHS as an internationally recognised centre of research excellence, by improving research, healthcare education and training. The OxBRC is tasked to undertake “translational research” – first time studies in patients of innovations, intended to improve healthcare.
To take forward the aim of making translational research meaningful for patients and researchers the OxBRC has launched its Public/Patient Involvement Strategy (PPI) and has set up a working group (PEG public engagement group) to take it forward.
PEG Chair, Elaine Strachan-Hall, who is also the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Director of Nursing & Clinical Leadership said: “Involving the public in research is invaluable for engendering a greater understanding of the value and benefits of translational research. It also helps researchers demystify the process, make it more inclusive and allow patients to offer a unique personal insight of their experiences to clinical research teams.”
The aims of the Public Engagement Group are:
· To promote public involvement in the translational research arena
· To support programmes examining the health economics (in terms of added value) and patient benefit of public involvement in translational research
· To enhance research opportunities
· To improve the quality of clinical research and ensure its relevance to the public
· To support the aims of the NIHR in its commitment to to active public involvement in all stages of research
· To raise awareness among the public of the importance of clinical trials with the aim of encouraging greater participation in them
· To promote dialogue with the public about the value of translational research
For more information or to get involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01865 743341.
Notes to editors:
Committee members include: Professor Ray Fitzpatrick, Professor of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Oxford, Professor Sue Dopson, Director of Research Degrees and Rhodes Trust Professor of Organizational Behaviour, Said Business School, Professor John Hutton, Project Director, York Health Economics Consortium, Elaine Strachan-Hall, Director of Nursing & Clinical Leadership, Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, Mrs Ann Pope, Ms Katharine Wright, Professor Mary Boulton, Professor of Health Sociology & Director of Research, Oxford Brookes University, Mr Michael Hocken, Patient Representative, Professor David Matthews, Professor of Diabetes, Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism, Dr Ann MacPherson, Medical Director, Dipex.