Identifying effective strategies for engaging patients and the public in implementation projects

Project Plan

Patient and public involvement (PPI) in CLAHRC SY is seen to be of central importance. Whereas considerable progress has been made in relation to PPI in research, knowledge is lacking about how patients and the public can be involved effectively in implementation and quality improvement work. Although some implementation projects in CLAHRC SY have sought to engage with patient and public representatives in an advisory role through involvement in project steering groups, the full potential has not yet been realized. There is considerable opportunity for greater and more meaningful engagement, for example, through the involvement of volunteers as part of the Big Society, engaging with patient/carer charities and groups, and NHS Trust patient and public governors.

The TK2A Implementation Theme in collaboration with the CLAHRC SY Patient and Public Involvement Leads, Professor Ade Adebajo and Dr Jill Thompson, are undertaking preliminary work to identify how the potential for public engagement in implementation projects may be realized.


1. To undertake a scoping review of the literature, local NHS organisations and CLAHRC SY themes to ascertain the current state of knowledge and local practice. 

2. To develop practical guidance for enhancing public engagement in implementation activities in the future. 

3. To contribute to the limited evidence base through publication of the findings.

4. To identify potential research questions and funding opportunities for further collaborative studies.


1. Scoping the literature

As limited time and resources are available for this twelve month project (October 2012 – September 2013), a pragmatic review of the literature and other resources will be undertaken. This will include:

• A review of published literature reviews about PPI involvement in research and development; including any seminal publications identified which merit further scrutiny.
• An appraisal of guidance produced by INVOLVE, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded organization supporting public involvement in research.
• An examination of websites for information on PPI in research and innovation. For example, the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, major charities such as Age UK, MIND, MENCAP and the NICE citizen group.

2. Mapping current practice

Local practice of involving patients and the public in implementation / quality improvement activity will be mapped to identify the extent and scale of current activity. This will include:

• Reviewing practice in implementation activities undertaken by the CLAHRC SY themes. 
• Identifying examples of good practice from partner NHS organisations in engaging patients and the public in service improvement initiatives. 
• Consultation with individuals and groups who have a remit for PPI, for example Barnsley CRAG (Consumers in Research Advisory Group) and the NIHR Research Design Service for Yorkshire & Humber.

Following the scoping literature review, a topic guide will be developed to inform gathering data about local examples of public involvement in implementation/quality improvement initiatives. Emphasis will be placed on identifying examples of best practice, and then exploring the challenges and opportunities to establishing meaningful engagement and evaluation methods.

3. Producing practice guidance

Findings from the literature review and the mapping of current practice will be combined to produce practical guidance on PPI in implementation activity. The guidance will include advice on how to ensure meaningful public engagement in all aspects of implementation activity, including the recruitment, training, on-going support and evaluation of impact. Feedback on the draft guidance will be sought from the Barnsley CRAG.