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2014 Conference Presentation

Evaluation EnglandUnited Kingdom

3 September 2014

Getting the ducks in line: public involvement in research and organisational development

Jennifer Bostock, The University of Kent, United Kingdom
Nadia Brookes, The University of Kent, United Kingdom
Karen Jones, The University of Kent, United Kingdom


The Quality and Outcomes of person-centred care Research Unit (QORU) is a Policy Research Unit funded by England’s Department of Health formally launched in January 2011 and led by the University of Kent. QORU aims to improve the health and social care of people with long-term conditions through research.

This paper describes the journey so far in ensuring that public involvement is embedded in the work of the Unit. The means developed to deliver this was through the establishment of a Public Involvement Implementation Group (PIIG) to develop, oversee and monitor the implementation of public involvement, and the setting up of a group of lay research advisors to support individual research projects. This initiative combines an overarching planning function with practical elements to help move involvement forward. There are a number of key features. The PIIG is made up of researchers and the public working side by side to come up with solutions to issues.

The Group has identified and piloted different ways to proactively connect with researchers. Twenty-five research advisors support a varied collection of research studies including economic evaluation, which has been considered a more challenging area to involve the public. It has been a mutually beneficial experience to share and learn from this public/researcher collaboration and the lessons learned so far will be discussed as well as possibilities for the future.

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