The Value of Working Together in Health Research

This was a one day free event for members of the public, patients, carers, health professionals and researchers held by the North West People in Research Forum in Manchester on 9th December 2013. The event explored the benefits of working together in health research and the different values people bring to this process and aimed to identify ways to improve the process of working together towards positive shared outcomes in health research across the North West.

The event was Chaired by Bella Starling, Co-Chair North West People in Research Forum Events Group and Director of Public Programmes at Nowgen, and Derek Stewart OBE, the Associate Director for Patient & Public Involvement at NIHR Clinical Research Network.

In the morning three speakers gave interesting examples of a range of research projects that closely involved patients and members of the public:

• The Working Together Relationship – Dr Katherine Froggatt (Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University) talked about an end of life peer education research project that she and seven lay research partners had worked on and the participatory action research process they had used.


• The Values we bring to Working Together – Prof Ann Jacoby (Professor of Public Health and Policy, University of Liverpool) described the Public Involvement Impact Assessment Framework project, which used a Delphi study method to gain the views of all groups with a stake in public involvement in health research.


• How public involvement work is valued by Chief Investigators & Public and Patient Involvement representatives – Prof Carrol Gamble (Professor of Medical Statistics, University of Liverpool) focused on clinical trials and a study that was looking at whether there is an association between process and impact in the evaluation of public involvement.


This was followed by an interactive session, where Bella Starling interviewed Philip Bell about his research experience as a public contributor over the years.

The afternoon was spent in workshop discussions. In our first session we looked at the value of working together at each stage of the research cycle, collecting examples of impact and considering how we might measure it. The second discussion session focused on the future and how we might work together in the North West to improve involvement.

The report from the event will be available through the website as soon as it is available. A twitter feed for the event is available at #TVWT and Derek Stewart has written about the event and his reflections at