It is still very early days in my new role as the NIHR Director of Public Participation and Engagement but I have already received a number of invitations to visit and see some of the great initiatives happening up and down the country. Keep them coming. It is my intent to get ‘out there’ as much as possible, to be visible and to make the agenda visible.
I think I have already mentioned that, earlier this week, I chaired a meeting of invoNET in which we looked at different research studies into public involvement that have just got started. And I have already showcased a PPI project that came my way in one of the coffee breaks: ALOIS.
But there are many others. If you haven’t heard of ‘Born in Bradford’ for instance, then I strongly suggest you take a look.
It is a cohort study which began in 2007 and is following 13,500 babies through childhood to understand better why children fall ill. Infant mortality in the area has been consistently above the national average and so the things learnt during the study will help make Bradford a healthier place to live but they will also be an important source of knowledge for others.
But what is really superb about the project is the extent to which the project lives up to its slogan of ‘everybody has a role to play.’ Check out the twins gallery for instance or some of the news coverage.
Another is ‘VOICENorth’ which is hosted by the Institute for Ageing and Health at the University of Newcastle. They hope to involve 3,000 people from the surrounding area to help shape research and policy-making. They already have one study up and running looking at the benefits of a food supplement.
Please let me know about your regional accent in public involvement and I’ll post it as a comment.
PS: Just to add that you really shouldn’t be reading if you are on your drivetime home despite the headline