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.