Framework to promote race equality in public involvement in research published

A self-assessment tool to help organisations improve racial equality in public involvement in health and care research has been published by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

UCLH and UCL piloted the Race Equality Framework, which helps organisations assess how policies, practices and culture could be changed so that research better serves diverse communities.

The Framework has been co-produced by members of the NIHR’s Race Equality Public Action Group (REPAG). REPAG aims to work with Black African, Asian and Caribbean heritage communities to strengthen NIHR’s understanding of race inequality in health and social care research and advise on actions to take.

Evidence demonstrates that ethnicity and race systematically influence health and care outcomes.

The ethnic diversity of those who participate in or shape health and care research often does not reflect that of the population affected by the issue being researched. In addition, too few of the public contributors who work with the NIHR are of Black African, Asian or Caribbean heritage.

It is vital that these groups have a stronger influence in shaping health and social care research to ensure services meet the needs of the whole population. The Race Equality Framework is part of the NIHR’s work to actively address these inequities. It is a transferable model that supports inclusive practice across other protected characteristics.

Nick McNally, Managing Director, Research at UCLH/UCL, said: “Our experience of piloting the Race Equality Framework is helping us shape our existing work in several ways. We created a new post to focus on increasing research involvement from under-represented racial groups and embed the Framework into our research work, and we’re setting up a panel of Black African, Asian and Caribbean community group members who we will work with to identify barriers to participation in research at UCLH.”

Anyone who would like to support or adopt the framework in their organisation should contact REPAG. In the future, REPAG will be establishing a national network to help colleagues embed the Framework in their organisations.

Read more on the NIHR website.