Research Design Service: West Midlands

Regional Public Involvement Work Plan (2019-23)

Approved: 30th September 2019
For review by: 1st October 2020

Introduction

The Research Design Service West Midlands provides expertise and advice to researchers who are developing funding proposals for research studies. Advice on how to involve patients and the public in research is a key part of this service. RDS WM also offers Advice Clinics and a Public Involvement Fund to support researchers’ public involvement activities.

Aims & Objectives

Our aim is to promote and support excellence in public involvement in research design throughout the West Midlands. This RDS WM strategic work plan sets outs the regional activities to deliver this aim and implement the National RDS Public Involvement Community Strategy and Work Plan. It was developed collaboratively across the Research Design Service, including members of the Keele Research User Group Steering Group, to deliver the recommendations in the NIHR Going the Extra Mile report.

Objectives

In line with the National RDS Public Involvement Work Plan, we will deliver the following objectives in the West Midlands:

1. Provide high quality advice to researchers about public involvement in research design
2. Improve the quality of public involvement in research design, by promoting and adopting the new UK Standards for Public Involvement
3. Support public contributors to work with us as valued partners in our governance and client support services, using the UK Standards to frame our public involvement activities
4. Promote and communicate RDS activity in public involvement
5. Provide regional leadership to address priorities for public involvement
6. Support coproduction of and community engagement in research design
7. Contribute to national RDS Public Involvement Community to support the sharing of best practice and service improvement

Programme of activities

PI=Public Involvement; GtEM – NIHR Going the Extra Mile Report; PILAR - ‘Public Involvement and Lay Accountability in Research’ Regional Public Involvement Network; PI-C - RDS National Public Involvement Community

Objective 1: Provide high quality advice to researchers about public involvement in research design

Activity: 1.1 Bespoke PI advice & support offered to all clients, including access to specialist PI advice.
Link to GtEM : 4. Continuous improvement, 5. Continuous improvement

Output Timeline 
● All advisers equipped to provide PI advice Ongoing as required
● Access to specialist PI adviser in each local RDS hub
Ongoing as required
● PI advice recorded in RDS client database Ongoing as required


Activity: 1.2 Extend Public Involvement Advice Clinics (including public advisers) across the region
Link to GtEM:
4. Continuous improvement

Output Timeline 
● Evaluation of the pilot clinics at Keele Jan 2020
● Advice clinics expanded to Birmingham and Warwick Hubs, or link in with existing programmes (e.g. Birmingham Health Partners) Jan 2021
● PI advice recorded in RDS client database Ongoing as required


Activity: 1.3 Provide access to a Public Involvement Fund (PIF) to support early PI in national research applications
Link to GtEM : 4. Continuous improvement

Output Timeline 
● New online PIF application Jan 2020
● Number of PIF applications Annually
● Evaluation of PIF and its impact Annually


Activity: 1.4 Provide access to high quality resources on PI to RDS clients (e.g. new RDS PI Guide, Top Ten Tips to good PI
Link to GtEM: 4. Continuous improvement

Output Timeline 
● Access to new RDS Guide on the RDS WM website Dec 2019
● New clients provided with the Top Ten Tip guide Jun 2020
● Links to other quality resources on the RDS website Jun 2020


Activity: 1.5 Raise awareness and knowledge about public involvement in developing areas of research (e.g. social care, co-production, community

engagement & global health, UK Standards for PI), plus designing for research impact/implementation
Link to GtEM: 4. Continuous improvement, 6. Coproduction, 5.Continuous improvement

Output Timeline 
● Hold regional workshops for researchers and public contributors Bi-annual/as required
● Contribute to learning events held by NIHR and regional partners As required
● Specialist PI advice in social care, global health research and impact/implementation recorded in RDS client database to inform case studies As required

 

Objective 2: Improve the quality of public involvement in research design, by promoting and implementing the UK Standards for Public Involvement 

Activity: 2.1 Embed the UK Standards for Public Involvement in our advice to researchers
Link to GtEM: 2. Culture

Output Timeline 
● Use of a new ‘reflective questions’ crib sheet based on the UK Standards for all RDS advisers to use in client contacts. June 2020
● PI advice on the UK Standards recorded in RDS client database Ongoing as required
● Case examples of how RDS clients have used the National Standards in the planning (grant applications and/or PIF applications) and delivery (PIF evaluation) of Public Involvement in research design Annually
● Advice on UK Standards included in regional RDS workshops (see 1.5)
As required


Activity: 2.2 Contribute to the development of a national RDS Public Involvement Fund (PIF) application and review processes which the UK Standards are embedded
Link to GtEM: 2. Culture, 4. Continuous improvement

Output Timeline 
● Nationally consistent PIF application and review guidance (national activity) embedding the UK Standards June 2021
● Regional use of the new PIF application and review guidance with all RDS WM PIF applications Ongoing as required (after June 2021)


Activity: 2.3 Contribute to and adopt a national Code of Practice for how the RDS works with public contributors (e.g. advice clinics, regional network (PILAR), RDS advisory group)
Link to GtEM: 
2. Culture, 4. Continuous improvement

Output Timeline 
● Contribute to a new National Code of Practice for working with RDS Public Contributors Jan 2021
● Regional use of Code of Practice for RDS WM PI activity (see 3.5) Ongoing as required (after Jan 2021)

 

Objective 3: Support public contributors to work with us as valued partners in our governance and client support services, using the UK Standards to frame our public involvement activities

Activity: 3.1 Facilitate the involvement of Public contributors in RDS WM governance activities)
Link to GtEM: 9. Coordination, 5. Continuous improvement

Output Timeline 
● At least one public contributor on RDS Advisory Board meetings (Standard 6 Governance) 2020
2021
● At least one public contributor on RDS WM Management and Operations Group meetings (Standard 6 Governance) Annually
● Partnership with Keele Research User Group Steering Group to advise on and co-develop regional PI plans and initiatives (Standard 6 Governance) Reviewed annually (Oct)
● Public contributors with relevant experience (Standard 1 Inclusive Opportunities)  


Activity:
 3.2 Facilitate the involvement of Public contributors in client support activities (including regional workshops and PI Advice Clinics for clients to support planning and development of PI activities)
Link to GtEM: 4. Continuous improvement, 2. Culture

Output Timeline 
● Public contributor(s) co-presenting at client and RDS staff workshops (Standard 2 Working Together) As required
● Public Advisers involved in the pilot PI Advice Clinics at the Keele Hub (Standard 2 Working Together) Ongoing, as required
● Evaluation of the pilot Advice Clinics at the Keele Hub (Standard 5 Impact) June 2020
● Involvement of public contributors in the expansion of the PI Advice Clinics at the Warwick and Birmingham Hubs (Standard 2 Working Together) Jan 2021
● Public contributors with diverse and relevant experience (Standard 1 Inclusive Opportunities) Reviewed annually (Oct)


Activity: 3.4 Facilitate the involvement of a RDS WM public contributor in the PILAR regional PI network)

Link to GtEM: 7. Connectivity

Output Timeline 
● At least one public contributor representing the RDS WM at PILAR meetings (UK Standard 2: Working Together) On going
● Public contributors with relevant experience (Standard 1 Inclusive Opportunities) Reviewed annually (Oct)


Activity: 3.5 Support the involvement of RDSWM public contributors (All Standards), including:

• Practical & logistical
• Accessible meeting venues and conduct
• Reimbursement & expenses
• Preparation & feedback before/after involvement
• Access to relevant induction/training
• A named RDS point of contact
Link to GtEM: 2. Culture

Output Timeline 
● Use of a PI code of conduct co-produced with public partners and PI-C (Standard 6: Governance) Mar 2020
● A relevant role description & induction for all new RDS WM public contributors (Standards 2 Working Together; Standard 3 Support and Learning) Dec 2019
● All RDS WM public contributors involved in regional activities offered payment for the contribution and expenses reimbursed (Standard 3 Support & Learning)
As required
● All PI partners have named RDS point of contact for enquiries and feedback (Standard 3 Support & Learning; Standard 4 Communications)
Oct 2019
● Contribution of public contributors recorded in meeting minutes and feedback provided (Standard 5 Impact) Ongoing, as required


Activity: 3.6 Facilitate, encourage and support RDS clients to work with a diverse public contributor community in research design (UK Standard 1: Inclusive opportunities)
Link to GtEM: 
10. Community

Output Timeline 
● Client advice on encouraging inclusive opportunities for PI recorded in the RDS database Ongoing, as required
● Client interactions with patient and public groups recorded in PIF evaluation (including those linked with RDSWM*) Ongoing, as required

* Keele University Research User Group (RUG); University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire Patient Advisory Group (PRAG); NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (Birmingham) Trauma PPI Research Advisory Panel

 

Objective 4: Promote and communicate RDS activity in public involvement

Activity: 4.1 Share RDS support for innovative public involvement in research design and share regionally and nationally
Link to GtEM: 
1. Communication

Output Timeline 
● At least one case study of RDS support for innovative public involvement in research design and share regionally and nationally Annually
● PI case studies shared on the RDS WM website On going, as required
● PI case studies included in the RDS WM Annual report Annually


Activity: 4.2 Make better use of the RDS website and social media to share our activities with regional partners and public groups
Link to GtEM: 
1. Communication 10. Community

Output Timeline 
● RDS WM website updated with new resources produced by the RDS and our partners On going review and updated, as required
● RDS WM social media channels used to promote national and regional RDS and NIHR PI events and activity, and to engage with regional partners, in line with RDS communications strategy On going, as required

* Keele University Research User Group (RUG); University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire Patient Advisory Group (PRAG); NIHR Surgical Reconstruction
and Microbiology Research Centre (Birmingham) Trauma PPI Research Advisory Panel

Activity: 4.3 Identify patient and community groups through our regional public involvement network (PILAR) who we already link to and create new relationships with others (links with 3.6)
Link to GtEM: 
1. Communication, 10. Community

Output Timeline 
● Mapping of regional links with patient and community groups in partnership with PILAR members July 2021
● Sustain existing relationship with patient and public groups* and engage with new groups Ongoing

 

Objective 5: Provide regional leadership to address priorities for public involvement

Activity: 5.1 Continued support for and coordination of the West Midland’s public involvement network, PILAR, including involvement of regional and national NIHR partners
Link to GtEM:
7. Connectivity

Output Timeline 
● Quarterly meetings On going 


Activity: 5.2 Using regional expertise and knowledge through the PILAR network, facilitate shared learning that address regional and national priorities for public involvement
Link to GtEM:
7. Connectivity, 4. Continuous improvement

Output Timeline 
● Regular updates on national initiatives provided to regional partners through PILAR Quarterly
● Updates to national partners (PI-C, NIHR) to share regional initiatives and activities that address priorities for public involvement Quarterly


Activity: 5.3 Contribute to at least one new PILAR initiative which address regional priorities for public involvement
Link to GtEM:
4. Continuous improvement, 2. Culture

Output Timeline 
● RDSWM support for PILAR regional initiative (event or resource)  As planned by PILAR

 

Objective 6: Support coproduction of research and community engagement

Activity: 6.1 Identify and partner with local expertise in coproduction and community engagement as sources of additional advice for researchers
Link to GtEM:
7. Connectivity

Output Timeline 
● Directory of regional expertise in co-production and community engagement, in partnership with PILAR Dec 2020 

Activity: 6.2 Provide guidance to RDSWM advisers on co-production and community engagement (including Global Health) toimprove their understanding and general advice to researchers
Link to GtEM:
4. Continuous improvement

Output Timeline 
● Links to NIHR resources to co-production and community engagement on RDS WM website Dec 2019
● Workshops at RDS National and/or WM Staff training events As required - To be agreed with National and Regional directors


Activity: 6.3 Collaborate with PI-C colleagues to share learning from the RDS Reaching Out projects to develop community engagement with research in the West Midlands
Link to GtEM:
4. Continuous improvement

Output Timeline 
● Top tips guide for community engagement on RDS WM and PILAR websites Sep 2021 

 

Objective 7: Contribute to the national RDS Public Involvement Community to support the sharing of best practice and service improvement

Activity: 7.1 Membership and leadership of the national RDS PI-C group and delivery of the national RDS work plan
Link to GtEM: 
7. Connectivity, 5. Continuous improvement

Output Timeline 
● Attendance of RDS WM to PI-C On going
● PI-C Chair End of term 2020
● Support of 2 PI-C Public Contributors (see 3.5) Ongoing, as required


Activity: 7.2 Contribute to national or cross-regional initiatives to deliver the national RDS PI work plan
Link to GtEM: 
5. Continuous improvement

Output Timeline 
● Recorded RDS WM contribution to deliver the national RDS PI work plan Ongoing, as required


Activity: 7.3 Address training needs of RDS staff regarding public involvement
Link to GtEM: 
4. Continuous improvement

Output Timeline 
● Contribute to a training session on public involvement at regional and/or RDS National Event, or equivalent. As required

 

Resources

Regional Public Involvement Lead: Dr Steven Blackburn
Responsible for the development, implementation, evaluation and reporting of our public involvement strategy and co-ordinating support and best practice across the region. Steven is currently Chair of the national RDS Public Involvement Community and Public Involvement Lead for the RDS National Office

Email: s.blackburn@keele.ac.uk
Telephone: 01772 734846
Specialist Public Involvement Advisers in local hubs: Keele Dr Steven Blackburn
Birmingham RDS Advisers trained to provide PI advice, with specialist by support provided by Dr Steven Blackburn, as required
Warwick Dr Jenny Harlock

All RDS Advisers WM receive regular training and updates regarding the role of public involvement in research design

Senior Academic Lead for Public Involvement: Prof Krysia Dziedzic

Partners and collaborators

Public contributors
Public partners bring a wealth of knowledge, lived experience, skills and insights to the research design process. We are very grateful to those who support our work.
We have a small team of public contributors with a variety of lived and working experience who will provide valuable insight in a number of different ways, such as:

  • Membership of our Advisory Group to provide a public perspective and ensure that we meet the requirements of our contract with the Department of Health. We hope to invite a public contributor to our regional management meetings to support RDS operations.
  • Public contributors provide public insight as part of advisory groups, supported and facilitated by RDS WM, to help the development of new research proposals and RDS WM Public Involvement work plans. Along with supporting researchers to engage with relevant public contributors and groups, we work closely with the Keele University Research User Group (RUG); University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire Patient Advisory Group (PRAG); NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (Birmingham) Trauma PPI Research Advisory Panel.
  • Co-facilitators involved in developing and delivering induction and training for RDS staff and clients
  • Representing the RDS WM as members of the PILAR regional network meetings and other appropriate events.

Public contributors who work directly with RDS WM have honorary contracts with the relevant institutions which enables them access to relevant learning and support and also reimbursement of out of pocket expenses. We also offer payment in lieu of time according to the nature of the involvement.

Partner organisations

Through the West Midlands regional network, PILAR, we have created new partnerships with NIHR, NHS and other research organisations in the region. This has allowed sharing of best practice for public involvement and regional collaboration to facilitate public involvement to develop local research. RDS WM will continue to support and coordinate PILAR.

Leadership and lines of reporting

The RDS WM Public Involvement team report to:
 Local hub team meetings via the local Specialist Public Involvement Adviser
 RDS WM Management and Operations group via the Regional Public Involvement Lead
 The National RDS Public Involvement Community via both Specialist Public Involvement Adviser

Monitoring and review

Work plan progress will be monitored at monthly meetings of the RDS WM Specialist Public Involvement Advisers.
The work plan will be reviewed annually at the RDS WM Management and Operations group and revised accordingly.