Step six - patient involvement
How do I get patients involved in my project?
Patients are at the heart of everything that we do, and as such should be integral when we think about undertaking research. Working in partnership with our patients to understand how things could be better and to develop research questions will ensure that the research that is carried out is meaningful to the people that use NHS services.
Involving patients as early as possible in the ideas and design phase of the project will also make sure that the methods you may be considering are right for your patients, are not too burdensome and that they promote positive involvement in research. It is also vital to work in partnership with patients to disseminate research results via appropriate channels for both a professional and public audience.
You can support patients to get involved throughout the research process. You may decide to work alongside a small group of patients throughout the project or collaborate with different people at different stages. Patients should be given every opportunity to participate in the process as much as they would like, for example acting as a co-applicant on a grant, helping to write lay summaries or presenting results at conferences or events.
It is important that patients are treated respectfully and as equal members of the team. As such they should be offered reimbursement for their time and travel expenses and guidance on this can be found in detail on the INVOLVE website. Patient involvement must be costed into all funding applications and Solent has a local process for patients to claim back their expenses.
We appreciate that involving patients can seem daunting; we are here to help. The team has a dedicated Patient and Public Involvement Officer who can support you. We are currently developing a toolkit to support you, which will be available in the next few months. In the meantime, please take a look at the following resources:
If you would more information or would like to discuss how to involve patients in your research please contact us.