Briefing Paper: Patient and Public Involvement in Health Research in Ireland- A Review of Progress to date
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Public and Patient Involvement in Health Research in Ireland?
A Briefing Paper written by Dr Avril Kennan (HRCI) and Philip Watt (Cystic Fibrosis Ireland) for the MRCG Conference, September 2016
Note: The Medical Research Charities Group is the former name of HRCI
At this time, Philip was Chair of HRCI and Avril was working for DEBRA Ireland and a HRCI Board member
PPI in health research in Ireland: A review of progess to date
The recent interest in Ireland in Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in health research in large part stems from Professor Hannigan’s Report ‘The Health Research Landscape in Ireland: What Researchers Say‘ commissioned and published by the MRCG in 2014. Professor Hannigan, who is now Director of Research, Translation and Innovation in Public Health in England (and has been recently appointed to the board of the Health Research Board in Ireland) concluded in this seminal report in respect of Ireland: ‘The systematic involvement in research of patients or other lay people is not well developed.’
One of the 5 key recommendations from the report was the establishment of an Irish Health Research Forum (IHRF) that would include a strong focus on PPI. In making this recommendation Professor Hannigan pointed out that at an international level: ‘Many research funders will no longer allocate funding for projects without evidence of an intention to include robust engagement. It is essential that people are trained appropriately for these roles and that researchers are made aware of good practice that they might adopt.’
A number of key developments have taken place since the Hannigan Report. For example, the first meeting of the Irish Health Research Forum (IHRF) took place in late 2014 and by common consent, the first theme of the Forum was PPI. The outcomes from this Forum are an important contribution to PPI not only at a national but also at an international level and are captured in the IHRF Forum Paper ‘Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) in Research‘ published in April 2015.