Late last week my colleague Dr. Pramod Regmi, Senior Lecturer in International Health, returned home from his Erasmus+ exchange to Nepal. He brought home for me a copy of the MMIHS (Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences) Souvenir 2023, this outliens key events at the institution of the past year. One of the write ups in the Souvenir is from the seven MMIHS M.Sc. students in Public Health who visited Bournemouth University in late 2022-early 2023 for three months. The students have since all completed their M.Sc. in Public Health at MMIHS. Their story highlights some of the British features of student life which were new to them. These included the support they received from our SUBU (=students’ union), or registering with the NHS, and the UNIBUS app, as well as cultural celebrations during their time in Dorset, such Halloween, Christmas and New Year. They rave about the module Public Involvement in Research and specifically thank Dr. Mel Hughes and BU’s PIER (Public Involvement in Education & Research) team. Their second module at BU focused on Systematic Reviewing, they particularly mention the guidance and support received from Prof. Vanora Hundley in the Centre for Midwifery & Women’s Health (CMWH) and our Faculty of Health & Social Sciences librarian Mr. Caspian Dugdale.
Unfortunately, the Erasmus+ scheme has come to an end, but Bournemouth University has just been awarded funding for a serious number of Turing Scheme exchanges. The latter is for BU students to go aboard, and this funding supports study exchanges, work placements, voluntary traineeships and other international extra-curricular or curricular activities worldwide for a minimum of 28 days and maximum of 12 months.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
We’ll hear from Dr Mel Hughes and colleagues about PPI (Public and Patient Involvement in Research) and a new internal funding stream for public engagement.
Public engagement with research intersects with a number of other ways of communicating your research or involving people in it. At our next PER Network meeting we’ll look at one of those other ways, welcoming Dr Mel Hughes, Academic Lead for the BU PIER (Public Involvement in Education and Research) Partnership, Rachel Jury, PIER member, and Angela Warren, PIER coordinator who will provide a brief introduction to the what, why and how of public involvement in research, or PPI.
This is an opportunity to learn about different approaches to public involvement, the benefits to your research and the pitfalls to avoid. This session is co-designed and facilitated with a representative from the PIER partnership (Public Involvement in Education and Research), who has extensive experience of sharing their lived experience expertise in research studies. There will be opportunity at the end to ask your questions about public involvement.
We’ll also other news on public engagement from BU, including a new internal funding stream for public engagement and how you can apply.
The meeting will take place 1-2pm on Thursday 25 November, on Teams.
To join this meeting and find out about future ones, join our BU Public Engagement with Research Network. Check under ‘Meetings’ for upcoming sessions.
VOICE is an exciting new digital platform for coordinating and supporting public involvement in research. BU has been awarded a licence of one year to trial and develop content on the platform.
We have used this opportunity to bring together the different teams working in BU to coordinate public involvement in research under the banner of VOICE@BU
- Mel Hughes, Pete Atkins and Angela Warren from the BU PIER Partnership
- Helen Allen and Louise Ward from BUCRU and the NIHR Research Design Service South West (RDS SW)
- Colleagues from the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences based research centres e.g. ADRC
- Colleagues from BU Research Development & Support (RDS) Team (for coordinating public engagement)
On 11th and 18th May we ran two information events to explain VOICE@BU in more detail and provided a demonstration. One event for researchers, you can view the recording here and one event for members of the public and community organisations. Both events were well attended and both researchers and public contributors were keen to be involved.
Evidence shows that involving the public in the development of research at all stages of the research cycle ensures that research is relevant, participant friendly, ethically sound and improves outcomes for patients and service users. We are committed to increasing the range of voices that help shape and inform health and social care research at BU.
To summarise, researchers can:
- Easily and quickly register for VOICE
- Submit an opportunity request to involve members of the public in their research
- Use the digital tools the platform offers to involve members of the public in research
- Promote workshops/focus groups
- Facilitate online discussions
- Promote opportunities for the public to join steering groups
- Online surveys & polls
- Set timed challenges and encourage ideas from the community
- Set up a closed group to communicate, share documents and support an established public involvement group
- Communicate with VOICE members regarding specific opportunities
- Access and share support and learning resources (From June) to help patient and public involvement and engagement activities
Please do register with VOICE and explore what is available and email us: email@example.com to discuss how we can help get the public involved in your research and/or promote an event/opportunity to VOICE members.
Today saw the publication of a new paper ‘Importance of involving patients and public in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and health research in South Asia’ co-authored by the BU Public Involvement in Education and Research (PIER) Partnership . This paper is co-written with Dr. Bibha Simkhada, until recently Lecturer in Nursing in N4LTH Centre (Nursing for Long-Term Health) and now Senior Lecturer in Nursing at the University of Huddersfield, Dr. Aliya Naheed at icddr,b in Bangladesh, Angela Warren based at PIER, Dr. Sue Green (Principal Academic) and Prof. Edwin van Teilingen. The paper appears in the International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, which is published by Cambridge University Press.
The authors highlights that Patient and Public Involvement/Engagement (PPI/E) in public health research and Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in has significantly increased over past decade in countries such as the UK. PPI/E helps improve health research and hence benefits patients and service users. For example, organisations like BU’s PIER bring a unique patients and (potential) users’ perspective of these services, which enables FHSS to enhance the education the future workforce in health and social care as well as research in this area.
However, PPI/E is still very new concept in many LMICs (Low- and Middle-Income Countries). This paper considers the importance of PPI in public health research and HTA in the development and implementation of technology in the health sector in South Asia. Currently, in this region, health technology is frequently adopted from HICs without local research and HTA. It also discusses the importance of local co-creation of technology to reflect the needs of users within a culturally appropriate setting. It is important for LMIC-based researchers to understand the potential of PPI/E and how it can contribute to it to improve health care and research, especially perhaps in the era of COVID-19.
- Simkhada, B., van Teijlingen, E., Naheed, A., Warren A., Green, S. (2020) Importance of involving patients and public in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and health research in South Asia. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care [Online First 5 November, pp. 1-3].
BU PIER partnership (Public Involvement in Education and Research) have established a network for people across the University and in practice who are involved in coordinating or who are interested in public and patient involvement (PPI) in resesarch. Our next (and 4th) meeting is on Thursday 20th July 10.00 – 11.30 at the Executive Business Centre (EB304). We will be joined by Clare Ballinger (strategic lead for the Wessex Public Involvement Network) and Anya de Longh (service user who has been involved in developnig PPI initiatives) who will be presenting on their work and shring ideas for best practice. If you would like to join us, please send Mel Hughes firstname.lastname@example.org a quick email so we know numbers.