Improved care and better outcomes are strongly assocated with research active organisations. The Trust has a long history of clinical research and is a substantial contributor to NHS and commercial clinical trial activity. The UK Strategy for Healthcare Sciences (2011) and the Health and Social Care Act (2012), both aim to increase the UK contribution to life sciences and to make research a core NHS activity. HEFT is committed to ensure that by 2015 research will be an integral part of the clinical care we provide our patients.
As part of our commitment to this we have a research Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) group called the Clinical Research Ambassador Group (CRAG); which is open to all patients and carers within the Trust catchment area. The aim of the group is to provide a forum for PPI representatives with an interest in research to meet, through meetings and events held at the trust, to discuss, inform and update on research within the Trust. Patients and the public can, if they wish, be involved in research at various levels – from being a participant to the development of a research study – advising and influencing areas to undertake research to study design. We provide support and training for those members who wish to pursue more active roles in the development of research ideas.
The aim of the research PPI group is to engage with our patients and carers, at all levels, on research, to enable them to have a voice, to inform, advise and develop research at the Trust.
Many funding organisations now require there to be an active Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) included in funding applications. Ideally they wish to see a PPI representative included as a co-applicant and have played a role in the grant application process – involved in developing the research study, advising on how approach patients, disseminate results, even writing patient information and a lay summary.
Through the Research PPI group we aim to be able to provide access, and support, to people who may be willing undertake these roles and who have experience in the research area.