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Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) is integral to the School's research and research capacity development activities, and is informed by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)'s policy for patient involvement. The School is committed to developing the evidence base for enhancing the effectiveness of PPI and funds high quality primary and secondary research. Patients, mental health service users, carers and members of the public with an interest in research are encouraged and supported to work in partnership with researchers on projects carried out across the NIHR School for Primary Care Research.

The SPCR aims to

  • identify PPI activity within the School in order to assess current practice
  • encourage and support patients to work in partnership with researchers
  • develop skills and knowledge related to PPI within members of the SPCR
  • work across departments in the School to ensure shared learning
  • enable appropriate PPI activity at different levels of the organisation
  • develop a co-ordinated approach to PPI
  • keep abreast of national PPI initiatives


 PPI in design, conduct and management

At the Centre for Primary Care at the University of Manchester, a PPI group (PRIMER) comprised of patients, carers, mental health service users and interested members of the public has been convened. PRIMER provides feedback on research projects that are at an early stage in their development, normally prior to funding. The group comments on a range of research materials including information leaflets, questionnaires and topic guides, and plain language summaries.

More recently, two PRIMER member led research ideas have been developed into fully funded research projects.  It is important to note that PRIMER works as a complement to, not as a replacement for, project specific PPI work. 

The Keele University, Department for Primary Care Health Sciences has an established Research Users' Group (RUG) who advise on research design, the use of research materials such as questionnaires and letters to patients, and comment on research proposals.

No matter how complicated the research, or how brilliant the researcher, patients and the public always offer unique, invaluable insights. Their advice when designing, implementing and evaluating research invariably makes studies more effective, more credible and often more cost efficient as well.

- Professor Dame Sally C. Davies, FRS, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser, Department of Health.