The NHS Research & Development Programme was set up in 1991 to create a research base of reliable and relevant information that would be available to NHS decision-makers.
It was felt that those on the receiving end of policies, should play a significant part in the research process that shapes them. Consumers are therefore involved in research, not as subjects, but as active participants helping to decide what research should take place, commissioning research, interpreting the results and disseminating the findings.
To improve consumer involvement even more, the Central Research and Development Committee (CRDC), which advises on priorities and funding, set up a sub-group.
The Standing Advisory Group on Consumer Involvement in the NHS R & D Programme first met in April 1996. Members come from consumer organisations, research, health information and health service management. It also liaises with other groups with an interest in consumer involvement, such as the Patient Partnership Strategy Group and the Patient's Sub-group of the Clinical Outcomes Group.
Questions asked include:
- how well has the NHS involved consumers in its research programme so far?
- how could consumers be more involved and what stops them?
- how can communication between researchers and consumers be improved?
If you would like to know more about the work of the group, including copies of reports, contact The Standing Advisory Group on Consumer Involvement in the NHS R & D Programme, 62 Exeter Street, Brighton BN1 5PH. Tel and Fax 01273 553382.