Nicky Williams, co-chair of PHWE

Hildegard Dumper, PPI Manager:

I was reminded how the development of a truly patient and people led health service takes time at the People in Health West of England Awayday in November. During an exercise reflecting on our achievements over the past year, we realised that the idea for a joint PPI initiative was first mooted in 2008, seven years ago. This evolved first into People & Research West of England, before being re-launched as People in Health West of England (PHWE) in 2014. Throughout this time the network has been chaired by Nicky Williams, Deputy Director of Research, North Bristol NHS Trust. Nicky is now leaving us to take on the post of National Director of Support & Delivery for Health And Social Care Research for Wales.

Nicky told me: “It has been a pleasure to co-chair the strategy group with Cathy Rice over the last few years and I look forward to hearing all about the work of PHWE in the future. I’m really proud of how PHWE has grown from the little seed of an idea that we first discussed in 2008 – a real credit to the commitment of the public contributors and staff involved.”

Another event a week earlier also reminded me that the development of good public involvement takes time.

At a panel discussion on cities, health, people and leadership at the Festival of the Future City last week, Professor David Evans pointed out that INVOLVE is now 20 years old. INVOLVE is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and was established 20 years ago in 1996 to support public involvement in the NHS, public health and social care research. It is now well established as the key body to drive forward and support good practice in public involvement in research, providing the benchmark for other areas of health and social care. In the context of an NHS that has gone through several major structural changes in the past few years, this consistency is a major achievement.

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Public Involvement summaries available

Progress reports for many initiatives within the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) include a summary of progress in implementing patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE). This year, those summaries have been extracted and made publicly available. The Central Commissioning Facility (CCF) of the NIHR welcomes feedback on these reports. For example, it would be helpful to them to know who is reading them, whether readers find them informative and useful, and how they could be improved. Please email your comments or contact the CCF patient and public involvement (PPI) team.

If you are a member of the public and would prefer a paper copy, please contact the CCF PPI team.

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INVOLVE: new contract

The University of Southampton has been awarded a four-year contract worth £3.2 million to deliver INVOLVE, the National Institute for Health Research’s Centre for Patient and Public Involvement, Participation and Engagement. This contract takes account of the Going the Extra Mile report. Through a new partnership with the Research Design Service (RDS), INVOLVE will provide leadership in public involvement in research at national, local and regional levels. Find out more

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Public Engagement appointment

The Elizabeth Blackwell Institute (EBI) welcomes Georgia Bladon, their new Public Engagement Associate. Her role includes managing the EBI public engagement activities, including its Public Advisory Group, and providing support for researchers across Bristol University in developing public engagement as part of their research or grant applications.

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Public Involvement Benefits Advice

INVOLVE has sent a reminder that, if you work for/with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), it’s important that you offer access to the free and confidential Benefits Advice Service to all those undertaking paid involvement with your organisation. Expert guidance from the Benefits Advice Service can support anyone involved with any NIHR organisation or NIHR-funded study (or subscribing partner organisation).

Members of the public who are in receipt of welfare benefits and are offered payment for involvement need to consider how the payment might affect their benefits. This is a complex topic on which the Benefits Advice Service has expert knowledge and it can offer valuable advice to those who:

  • are considering becoming involved
  • are considering whether to accept a payment
  • have already received payment but are concerned about declaring it to benefits agencies.

The advice is free, confidential, informed by the latest regulations and personalised (the advice is specific to the individual’s circumstances). Please ask anyone wishing to access the service to email benefits@invo.org.uk or to phone on: 02380 651088.

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Public Involvement Conference Feedback

We are delighted with all the positive feedback from our annual conference Progress and Practice in Involvement 2015, held on 3rd June. Nearly 100 people attended, a quarter of whom were members of the public. Most people who completed an evaluation form rated the day overall as good or excellent. The People in Health West of England team would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who helped us make this a successful day by running sessions, coming along and helping us organise the event.

Rosie Davies, Research Fellow (Patient & Public Involvement)

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Patient & Public Inolvement (PPI) Appointment

Our public involvement facilitator Mike Bell started work with the People in Health West of England Patient & Public Involvement (PPI) Team last week. This post is funded by Bristol Health Partners to support facilitation of involvement in Health Integration Teams. Mike’s most recent experiences include health complaints advocacy and working with disabled students to increase the numbers applying to higher education. He will initially be concentrating on building up our work with children and young people.

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