Public involvement is where members of the public share their time and personal experiences to help influence what research takes place and how it is undertaken.
Public involvement is embedded in all parts of the research process, to ensure that the research is relevant to people’s needs and concerns.
It allows those who will ultimately benefit from the research or the change in care and practice to have a voice.
This can be by:
- helping prioritise what research is important by joining funding panels;
- deciding how research happens through contributing to the planning of a study;
- advising on the way in which the research is delivered that will provide the best experience for people who are participating in a study; and,
- offering suggestions on how the research is put into practice so people can benefit from the new knowledge created by the study.
Welsh Government Research and Development division, through Health and Care Research Wales, is responsible for creating the policies to ensure that public involvement is considered as a key part of all health and social care research undertaken in Wales.
To help researchers and members of the public understand how meaningful public involvement can be included in all health and care research, Health and Care Research Wales has collaborated with a number of other organisations to create the UK Standards for Public Involvement.
These UK Standards provide guidance and tools to ensure that public involvement can form a key component of the design and conduct of research.
Public involvement roles are not usually considered to be employment, but no one should be left out of pocket. It is often described as working with researchers to plan, design, manage and carry out research.
Health and Care Research Wales has a dedicated team who help support the public to get involved in research. This team liaises with organisations throughout the UK and internationally.
They can help with:
- Information and resources found in the frequently asked questions
- Opportunities that you can help with
- Registration to join the involvement community
- Support you to get involved
- An introduction to public involvement in research (coming soon)
- News and events
- Regular updates
If you are a researcher and would like to involve the public in your research please email us.
Discover your role in health and social care research
Since 2019, Health and Care Research Wales has been working on an action plan to improve public involvement and engagement in Welsh health and social care research.
We have been working together with members of the public, researchers and key organisations to find out their current experiences and future aspirations for public involvement.
From these discussions, we have created a shared plan called Discover Your Role in Health and Social Care Research. As part of putting this plan into action, in January 2021 we launched our new Public Involvement and Engagement Forum.
The forum is open for anyone to join. Contact us by email at Researchemail@example.com if you’re interested in taking part.
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