Clinical Research Office. A partnership between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sheffield

Sheffield research team chosen to test new national standards for public involvement in research

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is one of ten sites across the country chosen to test a newly launched set of national standards aimed at improving the quality and consistency of public involvement in research.

The Clinical Research and Innovation Office, which provides dedicated advice and support to researchers throughout Sheffield’s adult hospitals, will test the standards over the next 12 months to ensure the views of patients and members of the public are at the heart of research development and implementation.

Research and innovation plays a key role in helping to improve patient care, driving medical breakthroughs and helping doctors and clinicians to better understand diseases.

Between 2016 and 2017 11,490 people took part in clinical research trials at Sheffield's five adult hospitals.

However, medical researchers do not always see things through the eyes of a patient, so it is key that patients and members of the public are engaged in the research process, as they can offer an invaluable perspective to better shape the research need and priorities.

The six standards developed are ‘Inclusive Opportunities’, ‘Working Together’, ‘Supporting & Learning’, ‘Communications’, ‘Impact’ and ‘Governance’.

Peter Sneddon, Director of the Clinical Research and Innovation Office at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to have been named as one of 10 UK sites looking at how these core standards can be used as indicators for public involvement in research by organisations, groups and researchers.

“Being involved in this year-long project means we can build on our existing strong foundations in public involvement to further identify and implement new ways of involving and engaging people throughout the research process, and ensure that opportunities for people to get involved in research – whether it be helping a researcher formulate a research proposal or as a member of a project advisory group – are accessible and visible for everyone.

“Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is home to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre, Devices for Dignity (one of 11 national MedTech and In vitro diagnostic co-operatives), an NIHR funded Clinical Research Facility and Sheffield Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre. As such, we are exceptionally well placed to forge excellent partnerships and use these Standards to improve the quality of public involvement in research here in Sheffield. Being a test bed site is a fantastic learning opportunity for us as we work with the support of the Standards Development Partnership and the other test bed projects.

“We look forward to working together with other colleagues, our patient and public advisory panels, researchers, members of the public and other groups across Sheffield to make this project a success.”

The National Standards for Public Involvement in Research have been developed through a UK-wide partnership established in 2016 which brings together representatives from the Chief Scientist Office (Scotland), Health and Care Research Wales, the Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland) and the National Institute for Health and Research (England) and an independent expert.

For more information about the Standards, visit the standards website.

The Clinical Research and Innovation Office is a partnership between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sheffield.

ENDS

Photo (from left to right): Lucy Wasinski, Dipak Patel, Jackie Palmer and Dan Lawrence from the Clinical Research and Innovation Office