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Involvement and engagement

Involvement and engagement is integral to all aspects of the NIHR Greater Manchester PSTRC.

We consult, listen to and involve patients, carers, members of the public and stakeholders at all stages of research.

Patient and public involvement

Patient and public involvement and engagement (PPI/E) remains central to our work. Our vision is for a joined-up approach to the delivery of PPI/E across Greater Manchester.

This will involve working with other NIHR infrastructure groups such as the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care Greater Manchester (CLAHRC GM), Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), Manchester Clinical Research Facility (CRF) and the School for Primary Care Research (SPCR).

The NIHR Greater Manchester PSTRC will continue to engage with local communities and will participate in current PPI activity within Greater Manchester. For example, the PSTRC was recently involved in hosting a workshop ‘Managing Difficult Situations in Patient and Public Involvement’, which was run by the University of Manchester’s patient and public involvement group, PRIMER. The workshop was designed to identify when involvement can be difficult and to increase confidence when managing these situations. A blog post is available which provides more information on this event.

Public involvement is also embedded in our governance structures.  Two Non-Executive Lay Members have been recruited to our Executive Management Board, to ensure that the patient/public voice is represented fully in the Greater Manchester PSTRC. They are key links from the Greater Manchester PSTRC to outside bodies and provide a patient/public perspective to the Greater Manchester PSTRC strategic plan.

The Greater Manchester PSTRC works to the NIHR INVOLVE definition of patient and public involvement (PPI), which is: "Research being carried out 'with' or 'by' members of the public, rather than 'to', 'about' or 'for' them".

Patient Safety PSP

It is important that research into patient safety in primary care addresses topics that are of importance to patients, carers and healthcare professionals. However, this is often not the case.

The 2012-17 NIHR Greater Manchester PSTRC set up a Patient Safety in Primary Care Priority Setting Partnership (Patient Safety PSP) to identify the top ten areas of uncertainty, as agreed by patients, carers and healthcare professionals. 

We set up a Steering Group who agreed the content and format of the priority setting survey. The survey was circulated as widely as possible among patients, carers and healthcare professionals to gather information on what are seen as the most important 'unanswered questions' around patient safety in primary care.

The PSP's Steering Group was asked to rank a 'top 60', which was then collated into a second survey, again open to all. The end product was a widely publicised 'top 10' list of unanswered questions, which was agreed on 16 March 2017 at a final workshop attended by healthcare professionals, patients and carers.

The top 10 unanswered questions in order of priority are:

  1. How can patient safety be assured for the most vulnerable in society (eg people who are frail, have mental health problems or cognitive impairments)?
  2. How can we make sure that the whole patient is treated, not just one condition and with mental health and physical health both being treated together?
  3. How can we improve safe communication and co-ordination of care between primary and secondary care?
  4. In what ways does work intensity, hours worked and staffing levels affect patient safety/near misses?
  5. How does continuity of care influence patient safety?
  6. How well do patients understand the information that has been conveyed to them during the consultation?
  7. What can primary care do to identify and support people who may be at risk of suicide?
  8. Which type of practitioner (GP, advanced nurse practitioner, practice nurse) is safest to see which types of patients (acute illnesses, acute or chronic multi-morbid)?
  9. How can information within patient medical records be made available to patients and care providers in a way that protects privacy and improves safety and quality of care?
  10. How can risks be mitigated to allow for safe complex care at home?

See more information about the survey: PSP survey infographic (PDF, 873KB).

Healthcare stakeholders

The Greater Manchester PSTRC's first core aim is to develop and test evidence-based digital and behavioural interventions to improve patients' safety in their interactions with primary care and during transitions between care settings.

The second aim is then to work with Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC), Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN), Patient Safety Collaboratives, and NHS and local authority partners. This work will involve translating early translational research into practice and national learning, as well as change in routine health and social care settings.

Involving healthcare professionals in our work is of importance, for multiple reasons:

  • involving healthcare professionals in the design of interventions and resources helps to ensure that they will be effective and attractive for healthcare professionals to incorporate into everyday practice.
  • involving healthcare professionals in the testing of new resources or systems will flag up potential issues or barriers to their use at an early stage so that these can be addressed.
  • healthcare professional involvement will help to establish awareness of, and subsequently take-up of, new interventions.

 Examples of healthcare stakeholder engagement include: