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Practical guides to Patient Involvement


INVOLVE is a national advisory group on public involvement in the NHS and is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Resources for researchers include an extensive range of publications, including:

‘Tips sheet: Recruiting members of the public to get involved in research funding and commissioning processes’ INVOLVE (2012) Tip sheet offering practical advice

Involving the public in NHS, public health, and social care research: Briefing notes for researchers INVOLVE (2012) Updated version of lengthy publication but with practical checklists on running committees, patient panels and other activities

Payment for involvement INVOLVE (2010) Detailed guide to paying patients and the public for their involvement, covering tax, national insurance and employment law issues

Public Information Pack (PIP): How to get actively involved in NHS, public health and social care research INVOLVE (2009) Four volume pack aimed at patients and the public but useful for researchers to adapt to meet their own needs, especially the jargon buster

Public involvement in research grant applications. Guidelines for researchers INVOLVE (2006) Includes simple tips on identifying members of the public to get involved and ways of involving them

Other guides to Patient Involvement

‘The Participation Toolkit: supporting Patient Focus and Public Involvement in NHS Scotland’ Scottish Health Council Includes practical tips on running a focus group and other activities

‘The James Lind Alliance Guidebook’ James Lind Alliance (2011) Step-by-step guide to priority setting partnerships, where patients and clinicians work together to identify and prioritise treatment uncertainties for research

‘Patient Involvement​ in research groups. Guidance for Chairs’ TwoCan Associates for the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (2010) Short, practical tips on chairing meetings involving patient/public members

‘The engaging researcher. Inspiring people to engage with our research’ Vitae (2010) Colourful, 20-page guide to public engagement including case studies and practical advice

UCL Public Engagement Unit

The unit supports UCL staff organising public engagement activities. As well as toolkits and advice on evaluation, the unit offers funding through a small grants scheme. Beacon bursaries are available three times a year providing up to £2,000 per project. The unit also helps find external funding.

The Research Design Service London 

The service, which has a dedicated Patient Involvement lead, offers:

  • individual advice to researchers on Patient Involvement and help with completing funding applications
  • help finding patients/members of the public through its database of interested London-based individuals and groups
  • Patient Involvement workshops and seminars
  • a small grant called the Enabling Involvement Fund to help researchers to involve patients and the public early on in their research

People in Research

This website provides information for interested members of the public and is a useful place to direct patients to. Researchers wanting to find members of the public can advertise on the site.