We produce a regular Newflash, geared to members of the public as well as researchers and health professionals. The Newsflash includes updates on all aspects of public involvement in the West, including training courses we run, involvement opportunities, and other news such as job ads and conferences. Contact us to let us know about your news or event.

Funding opportunity to strengthen links with Public Contributors 

The West of England AHSN is inviting organisations from the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector to submit proposals for funding between £500 and £10,000 to strengthen links with public contributors and encourage innovation using hyvr – the online social media platform for healthcare.

hyvr has been developed by the West of England AHSN as a platform where users can discuss innovations and health related issues with like-minded people in groups called ‘hives’.  Ongoing dialogue on hyvr between the public and other collaborators will seek to accelerate the development of new and relevant healthcare initiatives including products, gadgets and new ways of working, as well as a forum for any health or care topic discussion.

Successful proposals will achieve four objectives:

  1. Benefit the applying organisation(s) in supporting a strategic aim(s).
  1. Provide sufficient numbers of users on the hyvr platform to determine its efficacy as a networking tool.
  1. Strengthen links with public contributors putting them at the heart of the innovation process.
  1. Support innovators to engage directly with public contributors.

Applications are open until 5pm on 21st February 2019.  Full details including application guidance and schedule are available to download here.

More Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Advisers for the South West Research Design Service

Welcome to Jo Welsman and Helen Burchmore, two recent appointments to the South West Research Design Service (RDS). Jo is based in the Bristol office and Helen in Exeter, and they cover the entire South West RDS region.  Both Helen and Jo bring extensive PPI experience to their new roles having worked across many different organisations and with very diverse patient and public groups. They have led and supported PPI in research covering primary care to basic biosciences and everything in between. They can provide advice on where and how to involve patients, help you identify patient and public networks and groups to collaborate with, and access funding to enable collaborative PPI activities at the prefunding stage.

You can contact Jo or Helen at any stage of your proposal development, but they emphasise they can support you best if you contact them as early as possible in your application process.  “We are also keen to hear from members of the public, or patient groups or networks who are interested in contributing to research design so please get in touch.”

Reporting Involvement
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Journals Library has adopted a new set of guidelines providing researchers with support and advice to improve reporting of patient and public involvement in trials. The Guidance for Reporting Involvement of Patients and the Public (GRIPP2) checklist is an evidence-based, robust and practical guide to support and encourage better reporting of how the public has been involved in studies.

Click for more info

PhD Opportunity: Public Involvement
Apply by 9th Sept, Southampton

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Southampton Biomedical Research Centre and Wessex Public Involvement Network are offering a funded PhD studentship opportunity to explore the impact of public involvement and engagement (PPI/E) on health research

Click for more

July 2018

BMJ Involvement Reporting Impact
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) reports on the impact of their policy to require authors to report if and how they involved patients and the public.
Click for more info 

Abstract call now open!

‘International Perspectives on Evaluation of PPI in Research’

Thursday 15th and Friday 16th November, 2018.

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

The conference will provide an international platform to critically explore and reflect on the issue of evaluation of patient and public involvement in research.

We are now accepting abstracts for oral, poster and workshop presentations for this conference. 

Closing date for submissions is Tuesday 31st July. 

Reviewer decisions will be available mid-August.

The conference provides an exciting opportunity for shared learning and for showcasing your patient and public involvement (PPI) in research to an international audience.

Rather than pre-set themes we will shape the thematic structure of our parallel sessions and poster presentations around the topics covered within submitted abstracts.

Submissions are therefore invited that reflect a range of PPI experience, academic and philosophical interests, and diversity in the practice and evaluation of PPI in research.

Abstracts are invited from both the ‘professional’ and PPI communities.

Abstracts led by professionals should ideally include PPI co-authors.

Find out more about our abstract call here .  Submit your abstract by email here.

The conference website is now live with further information about the 2-day programme, our fantastic line up of speakers, the conference venue and registration.

A small number of bursaries will be available to support attendance of PPI delegates, details will be provided when registration opens in July.

Follow us on Twitter for live updates

@intppieval   #intppieval18

This conference is jointly chaired and delivered by PPI contributors.   

Submit an ‘Innovation in PPI’ Soapbox idea:

Applications are now open for proposals of ideas that suggest novel ways to approach PPI in research.  Ideas must be new and untested.  We are particularly interested in ideas that demonstrate ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking.   This includes ideas that may be ‘off the wall’, ‘blue sky’, or even not fully formed – as these may be a catalyst for more interactive and innovative thinking and discussion.

If your proposal is accepted you will be offered a 5 minute slot on our ‘Innovation in PPI Soapbox’ to talk about your idea.  Please note: these presentations will NOT include slides or a poster – just the presenter and their notes (if required).

Ideas might address current practice, for example training; current issues, like diversity; or barriers to involvement, such as remuneration.

They key criteria are that your idea will be novel and innovative!

We are particularly interested in receiving Soapbox submissions from PPI partners

The word limit for idea summaries is 300 words, excluding the idea title and the presenter’s details.

You will find the Soapbox submission template here.  Send your completed Soapbox form to by Tuesday 31st July 2018.  Lead authors on submitted contributions will be notified about reviewer decisions by mid-August. 

June 2018

Annual Review Bristol Health Partners

The Bristol Health Partners Annual Review highlights the milestones and achievements of their strategic partnership, which works to improve the health of people living in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, and the services on which they rely. Martin Gregg, one of two public contributors on the Bristol Health Partners Executive Group, reflects on patient involvement in the partnership

Involvement Resources
Lots of useful new guides and resources have recently been released.

Feedback after PPI

CLAHRC East of England has published guidance on the importance of giving feedback in Patient & Public Involvement. Health Expectations has published a paper by Dr Elspeth Mathie and colleagues, who conclude that researchers do not routinely give feedback to Patient & Public Involvement (PPI)contributors.
Click for more info

Digital Involvement

The role and potential of patient and public involvement (PPI) in a digital age is the subject of a new guide published by the AHSN Network.
Click for more info

Patient Engagement Guidance

Patient Focused Medicines Development (PFMD)and has launched PFMD Patient Engagement Quality Guidance
Click for more info

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February 2018

Public Involvement in Research: Impact Exchange Workshop

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) presentations and discussion from the workshop held in London, 29 November 2017.


January 2018

Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement annual reports, National Institute for Health Research

Every year, over 100 National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded Centres, Facilities, Units, Schools and others provide an annual progress report to the NIHR. These reports are a source of valuable information that allows the NIHR to review performance, enable decision making on future funding requirements, answer Parliamentary Questions, prepare briefings for Ministers, and respond to other requests for information.

There is a patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) section in annual reports that asks for a brief summary of progress to date in implementing PPIE strategies.

Over the last three years, NIHR have extracted and compiled the PPIE sections of annual reports and made them publicly available. The main aim in doing this is to support and promote the sharing of knowledge, learning and good practice across the NIHR and beyond.

January 2018

NICE have announced the launch of the bursary scheme for the 2018 NICE Annual Conference which is taking place at the Hilton Hotel, Deansgate, Manchester.

Improving Heath, Improving Lives brings together the latest developments in clinical improvement, health technologies and patient-centred quality care.  Core themes of the 2018 event are:

  • Life sciences – value and vision
  • Digital health
  • Patient-centred quality care

From streamed sessions focusing on the detail of new NICE guidelines, to plenary debates on person-centred care and evidence-based practice, the conversation will no doubt return time and again to the key questions: What does excellent care look like? And how much does it cost?  View the 2018 NICE Annual Conference agenda for full programme of events.

 The bursary offer: This year’s bursary package consists of a full day delegate pass to the conference worth £149 plus VAT. The bursary scheme is open to national patient, carer, service user and voluntary organisations, local and regional Healthwatches, and can be applied for by completing and returning an application form.

Bursary packages are limited and interest is expected to be high so don’t delay in returning your application.  Further details of the bursary scheme and the application form are also available on NICE website bursary page.

The closing date for submitted applications is 5pm, Friday 26 January 2018. Applications will be considered for eligibility by the NICE Public Involvement Programme. Applications which meet the eligibility criteria will be selected for a bursary at random.

Because of the limited number of bursary packages available, priority may be given to those organisations who have not previously received a NICE conference bursary.

Successful applicants will be notified as soon as possible following the closing date. Unsuccessful applicants will be entitled to book delegate passes at a discounted rate.

How to apply: Once you have read the terms and conditions, complete and return your application form electronically to or by post to NICE 2018 – Conference Bursary Scheme, c/o Mrs Sally Taylor, Public Involvement Programme, NICE, Level 1, City Tower, Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester, M1 4BT.

Please note that applications received after 5pm, Friday 26 January 2018 will NOT be considered.


bursary-scheme-application-form 2018

November 2017

Members of our team attended the recent conference INVOLVE at 21: Celebrate the progress of public involvement in research and consider the  opportunities ahead.   Here are the posters and video we produced and presented at the Conference:

A Gibson Poster INVOLVE Conference 2017  People in Health West of England: A regional network for promoting public involvement

M Kok Poster INVOLVE Conference 2017  Developing a toolkit for patient and public involvement in antimicrobial medicines development research: breaking new ground

R Davies Poster INVOLVE Conference 2017  Discovering the role of public co-applicant

N Hopewell-Kelly Poster INVOLVE Conference 2017  Making it meaningful; overcoming the challenges in involving vulnerable people

M Bell Video INVOLVE Conference 2017  Making it meaningful – Public involvement in research

S Tweddell Workshop slides INVOLVE Conference 2017  This was for a workshop on public involvement with the charity and voluntary sector, drawing on the West of England Academic Health Science Networks Diabetes Digital Coach as a case study

J Jackson Poster INVOLVE Conference 2017  Preventing post-operative urinary retention: an example of researcher-patient co-production

October 2017

New publication:  ‘Does funded research reflect the priorities of people living with type 1 diabetes? A secondary analysis of research questions’

Authors Kate Boddy, Katherine Cowan, Andy Gibson, Nicky Britten

September 2017

North Bristol NHS Trust has published it’s new five year research strategy, you can find it at

July 2017

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Central Commissioning Facility (CCF) has recently published several documents relating to their patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE).
2016/17 PPIE Highlights Report
2016/17 PPIE Annual Report
2016/18 Revised PPIE Plan

June 2017

The James Lind Alliance has published a report on evaluating the extent and impact of young people’s involvement in National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) studies.

May 2017

Patients share their experiences of taking part in research at North Bristol NHS Trust – Take Part Be Involved in Research Issue 2

April 2017

Research for Health Challenge

The Elizabeth Blackwell Institute has introduced a scheme to encourage healthcare practitioners, patients, the public and University of Bristol researchers to work together to develop innovative thinking around clinical problems.

Click here for more information, and how to submit a challenge

Closing date to submit a challenge is 24th May 2017.

March 2017

New films show the benefit of public involvement

INVOLVE reports members of the public have worked alongside Cardiff University staff to produce two short films that highlight the benefit of public involvement in research.

One film, ‘Why get involved in Research?’ is aimed at members of the public and the second, ‘Public Involvement in Research’ is aimed at researchers.

To watch the films, go to

February 2017

Positively engaging in NHS change: how best to involve people

Wessex Voices have published a report following their recent event.

Click here for more information

November 2016

West of England AHSN leading the growth of the Q Community

The West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) has been chosen as one of three AHSNs across the country to lead the next phase of the Health Foundation’s exciting Q initiative, which will create opportunities for greater collaborative working.

Click here for more information

September 2016

Healthcare Change Makers link is live

Bristol Community Health are excited to report the link for the Healthcare Change Makers is now live.

Could you be one of Bristol’s first Healthcare Change Makers?  Are you enthusiastic about the way that we, and our hospitals deliver services now and how we might adapt to meet future needs?  Together with North Bristol Trust and University Hospitals Bristol, Bristol Community Health is looking to equip local residents with the skills, knowledge and confidence to work alongside us to improve our services.

Click here for more information



August 2016

PHWE has new public contributor co-chair

We are delighted to be able to announce that Martin Gregg, has agreed to take on the role of public contributor co-chair for People in Health West of England.  Martin will be sharing this role with Julie Hapeshi, our professional co-chair.  Martin is a lay member of South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) with specific responsibility for Patient and Public Involvement and Equalities.   We are all looking forward to working with Martin in his new role as co-chair.

July 2016

Subject: Job Opportunity with Patient and Community Leadership Programme for Bristol – Project Coordinator Freelance

Fee of £5,250 for 30 days between August and December 2016 (majority of time in August and September)

Bristol Community Health, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and North Bristol NHS Trust are working in collaboration with NHS England and People in Health West of England to deliver an innovative Patient and Community Leadership programme in Bristol. The programme will be co-designed and co-delivered by Mark Doughty, Director at the Centre for Patient Leadership and Kings Fund Associate. The outcome of the programme is to develop a group of patient and community leaders who will use their confidence, knowledge, skills and experiences to work collaboratively with health care leaders as partners for positive change and improvement.

We are seeking a Project Co-ordinator on a freelance, fixed-term basis to actively support the planning and delivery of the programme. We are seeking someone who is inspired by people and communities, ensuring their voice changes health services for the better.   Working closely with a small steering group of staff from the partner organisations, your exciting role will ensure energised participation in the programme from across the city and you will act as the central point of contact for programme participants and operational elements of the programme.

We are looking for a highly organised and dynamic person who will deliver on a varied workload; to make positive contact with and provide ongoing support to programme participants. Working with the programme partners and other stakeholders to encourage collaboration to enable a successful programme to be delivered; engaging new and diverse communities as participants in what we see as an innovative approach to engagement in the local health service.

If you believe that local citizens can shape the future of the health service in the area, we’d love to hear from you.

For further information: Please see Role Profile – PCL Project Coordinator

How to apply: Please send a CV and covering letter that explains why you are the right person for the role (in no more than 1 side of A4) to

Closing date:  Midday on Sunday 31st July.

Appointment will be made after a process of shortlisting and interview. Interviews will be held week commencing 8 August 2016. Please note that we will not be able to offer feedback on applications to candidates who have not been shortlisted.

If you would like an informal chat about the role, please contact either:

  • Tony Watkin, Patient Experience Lead, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust –  0117 342 3729, or
  • Gill Brook, Head of Patient Experience, North Bristol Trust – 0117 414 9064

June 2016

Subject: Secondment Opportunity with West of England Academic Health Science Network – Enterprise Engagement Co-ordinator

An exciting opportunity has opened at the West of England AHSN to join the Enterprise team on a 12 month secondment to cover maternity leave. The role is for an Enterprise Engagement Co-ordinator, who will be the link person between businesses, the public, healthcare and voluntary sectors and we would like the successful applicant to start in July.

The post-holder will also be responsible for managing the delivery of the Design Together, Live Better programme, one of the main projects being delivered by the Enterprise team. It is a citizen-led design project, aimed at capturing ideas for new innovative products from a citizen’s perspective and connecting citizens and innovators in the design of new products and beta-testing new developments.. Further information about the project can be found on

Please see the job description and person specification below. The West of England AHSN has its main base in the centre of Bristol.

Closing date for application is 9 am Monday 4th July 2016.

We may close this call for applications earlier if we receive a lot of interest.

Please apply by sending your CV and covering letter to

For informal conversations about this role, please contact Nada Khalil 0117 984 1582

All applicants should have the support of your organisation before they apply.

June 2016
PPI impact

The Health Research Authority and INVOLVE have published new evidence on how public involvement can help make research more ethical and produce better outcomes.
Click for more info

PPI standards and highlights

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has recently published a report on Why and how to develop PPI Standards and a report on ‘The public as our partners: Highlights from 2015/16’.

May 2016

This is a good example of how research has revealed the miscommunication between patients and GPs –

May 2016

PHWE has new professional co-chair

We are delighted to be able to announce that Julie Hapeshi, has agreed to take on the role of co-chair for People in Health West of England.  Julie will be sharing this role with Cathy Rice, our public contributor co-chair.  Julie brings to the role a wealth of experience and insights.  She is Deputy Director of the Research Design Service (RDS) and of Research & Development at Gloucester Hospitals Trust and a founding member of PHWE.  In addition, her RDS role links Julie to the new INVOLVE team.  We are all looking forward to working with Julie in her new role as co-chair.

April 2016

Join one of the most exciting Patient & Public Involvement initiatives in the West of England – Professional Co-chair

People in Health West of England (PHWE) is a unique initiative promoting innovative and effective public involvement in research and evidence-based service improvement. From its inception People in Health West of England has been co-chaired by a public contributor Cathy Rice and a professional Nicky Williams. Nicky who was Deputy Director of Research and Innovation at North Bristol Trust has now moved on to take up the role of National Director for Support and Delivery of Health and Social Care Research in Wales. We would therefore like to recruit another professional to play the crucial leadership role Nicky has played around public involvement. As well as meeting our needs for a professional co-chair this is an exciting professional development opportunity for the right person.

More information: PHWE Strategy Group – Professional Co-chair Invitation and Role Description   If after reading the invitation and role description, you would like to find out more contact David Evans, Academic Lead for the project or telephone 0117 328 8750

Closing date:  Expressions of interest outlining what you would bring to the role along with a brief CV (one page maximum) should be sent by Monday 2nd May 2016 to

April 2016

Call for contributions to conference on co-production and interdependency

Joint University Council and Public Administration supported Conference addressing topics such as ‘what are the changes underway in the relationships of users with service providers’

Co-production Interdepenency Call (PDF document)

April 2016

Patient Involvement Film

The Support and Treatment After joint Replacement (STAR) research project team shows how patient involvement (not only participation) has been embedded into a research project and how it made a difference.
Click here to view the film

December 2015 

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.

November 2015 

Public Involvement Bulletin

Go to the McPin Foundation website for their latest Public Involvement in Research Bulletin, including two involvement opportunities that can be completed by online surveys.

Read more

October 2015 

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.

October 2015 

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.

September 2015 

New Bristol Health Partners website

Bristol Health Partners invites you to their new website, with lots more information on Bristol’s health research. If you have any comments, please email Zoe Trinder-Widdess, Communications Manager, Bristol Health Partners and CLAHRC West.

August 2015 

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.

July 2015 

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.

Read more

June 2015 

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.

Read more

June 2015 

Children and clinical research – report on ethical issues

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has published a report on how children and young people can ethically be involved in research.

Read more

April 2015 

Funding Finder

The West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN) Funding Finder provides a monthly up–to-date of funding opportunities for health innovation.

Go to WEAHSN website

April 2015 

Patient & Public Involvement (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.

Read more


March 2015 

Patient & Public Involvement (PPI) Appointment

The University of the West of England has appointed Andy Gibson as Associate Professor PPI to start at the end of April 2015.

Read more