Get the word out
We are embarked on a programme of engagement activities to raise awareness of the Sheffield BRC as a new organisation highlighting the role and opportunities for patient and public involvement. Details of events like our PPI launch day will be advertised through our Twitter and through a range of communications teams at research institutions at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. We will have a presence at collaborative events planned in Sheffield for International Clinical Trials Day and NHS70, the INSIGNEO showcase and SITraN open days.
Build capacity for patient and public involvement across all our research themes
We are working to establish new research advisory groups (e.g. for multiple sclerosis and stroke) modelled on the success of existing local groups with stable memberships meeting regularly that enable longer-term collaborative relationships with researchers to develop. We will work with charitable organisations to advertise new PPI opportunities and support researchers to hold focus groups for particular projects as well as interact with PPI panels. We will signpost to general training provided by our partners at the Clinical Research and Innovation Office and that we can help to tailor for specific needs for both PPI volunteers and researchers. We will investigate new ways to make involvement flexible and accessible for people who are limited by time, mobility and geography by working with platforms such as Voice North; a digital platform allowing researchers to post ‘wanted ads’ for PPI discussions and other activities which can be conducted by webcast.
Collaborate to join the wider development of Patient and Public Involvement in research
The direction of how PPI is developing is part of a national and international discussion. To keep up to date on evolving guidance for PPI and emerging tools such as Voice North we are working with a network of other Biomedical Research Centres as part of a PPI steering group.
Collaborating with the other clinical research infrastructures in Sheffield (including the NIHR Clinical Research Facility and the Clinical Research and Innovation Office), we aim to deliver coordinated Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement activities across the Trust. The collaboration presents the opportunity to build a cohesive picture of PPI throughout different research structures and throughout the research cycle, from the design phase of studies that come out of the BRC to the patient experience at the point of delivery of clinical trials at the Clinical Research Facility. This is helping to share knowledge between organisations and share facilities and resources.
Integrate PPI into our training strategy
To encourage the long-term adoption of PPI in all aspects of clinical and translational research we are delivering a basic training package for PPI to all our PhD students and Clinical Research Fellows as well as giving them opportunities to put that into practise
Does it make a difference?
How to evaluate the impact of PPI so that the practice can be improved is a hot-button topic in the global discussion on the development of PPI. We are involved in collecting information from across the network of 20 BRCs and beyond on how the impact of PPI can be evaluated. We have joined Patient Focused Medicines Development, the world’s first online platform for mapping patient involvement in research initiatives and assessing their impact against a co-developed framework of criteria. We are using this tool to log PPI activities and help us monitor the impact of our PPI endeavours to inform future strategy developments.
Embed PPI in the Governance of the Sheffield BRC
We invite PPI representatives to join the Sheffield BRC Executive board as members (where PPI is a standing item on the meeting agenda), and to join our External Scientific Advisory Group, to help steer the PPI strategy and add value for research prioritisation.