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Our approach to patient involvement and engagement

For an in-depth perspective on our approach and the way we work, have a look at our research paper in the Journal of Involvement and Engagement.

Innovating public engagement and patient involvement through strategic collaboration and practice.

(Below is the summary of the research paper, please note this was written when Vocal was called the Public Programmes Team).

Working in partnership with people, patients, carers and communities is an important and expected component of health-related research activity in the UK. Within health research, public engagement (usually defined as raising awareness of research) and patient involvement (usually defined as actively involving people in research) have traditionally been seen as separate but have much to gain from working together towards a common goal of better health outcomes for all. Please note this paper was written when Vocal was called the Public Programmes Team).

This paper describes a unique approach taken by the Public Programmes Team - an interdisciplinary group of public engagement specialists embedded within translational research infrastructure and delivery in Manchester in the North West of England. We propose a new model of professional practice – a ‘cycle’ of engagement and involvement – innovating across the complementary fields of public engagement and patient involvement, and working inclusively and in partnership with people in health research. Further, our approach capitalises on strategic collaboration offering economies of scale and a joined up way of working.

Through preliminary case studies exemplifying the impact of our approach, our achievements and learning between April 2017 and March 2018, we propose that our approach has the potential to be replicated elsewhere. Our ambition is to boldly experiment, learn and reflect, responsibly and based on evidence and partnerships, using methods of engagement that address issues of social justice.

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