Cochrane has joined other health and social care bodies in a pledge to improve public involvement in research.
Cochrane has signed up to the Shared Commitment to Public Involvement in Health and Social Care Research. The Shared Commitment aims to bring about changes which will drive up standards in health and social care research. The statement was developed in partnership with members of the public and was launched in March 2022 during Science Week.
Public involvement refers to all the ways in which the research community works together with people including patients, carers, advocates, service users, and members of the community.
Dr Matt Westmore, Health Research Authority Chief Executive, said: “It’s great to have Cochrane joining our Shared Commitment to Public Involvement.
This shared statement, developed with patients, research participants and leaders in health and social care research, will ensure public involvement is embedded across the health and social care research system.
The entire research system is sending the same strong message. That public involvement is always important, always expected and always possible. The evidence is that better research results from involvement, and better research delivers benefits for patients.”
Cochrane is an international, not-for-profit network of clinicians, patients and careers, researchers, and policy-makers creating high-quality healthcare evidence synthesises.
Catherine Spencer, Cochrane CEO, said: “Cochrane provides high-quality, synthesized evidence for health decisions. Involving the public ensures that our focus is meaningful and our evidence is accessible. Signing this public involvement pledge makes a clear statement; the input and involvement of patients, carers, and the public is valued by Cochrane.”
Richard Morley, Cochrane’s Consumer Engagement Officer, explains: “Cochrane has a long and rich history of collaborating with healthcare consumers. The Cochrane Consumer Network has played a formal role since 1995 with over 2,000 members and 2 Consumer Executives serving on the Cochrane Council. We have recently launched a framework that will help guide Cochrane’s work to 2027. Signing this public involvement pledge solidifies Cochrane’s commitment to ensuring that healthcare consumers are embedded and central to our work.”
Maureen Smith, Chair of the consumers Executive, said: “Cochrane consumers have a long tradition of involvement to ensure that evidence is accessible, relevant, and responds to the needs of their communities all over the world. Signing this pledge signals Cochrane’s firm commitment to advancing and supporting the incredible potential of consumers in their roles as users of evidence and producers of evidence.”
Organisations who have signed the shared commitment include:
- The Academy of Medical Sciences
- The Association of Medical Research Charities
- The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
- Cancer Research UK
- Health and Care Research Wales
- Health and Social Care Northern Ireland
- Health Research Authority (HRA)
- Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
- National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement
- National Institute for Health Research
- NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria
- NHS Research Scotland
- Universities UK
- UK Research and Innovation
The statement, signed by leaders at each organisation, reads:
Public involvement is important, expected and possible in all types of health and social care research.
Together our organisations and members fund, support and regulate health and social care research. This statement is our joint commitment to improve the extent and quality of public involvement across the sector so that it is consistently excellent.
People have the right to be involved in all health and social care research. Excellent public involvement is an essential part of health and social care research and has been shown to improve its quality and impact. People’s lived experiences should be a key driver for health and social care research.
When we talk about public involvement, we mean all the ways in which the research community works together with people including patients, carers, advocates, service users, and members of the community.
Excellent public involvement is inclusive, values all contributions, ensures people have a meaningful say in what happens and influences outcomes, as set out in the UK Standards for Public Involvement.
Working together we will support the research community to carry out excellent public involvement. We will provide or share guidance, policies, systems, and incentives.
- listen to and learn from the people and communities we involve and apply and share that learning
- build and share the evidence of how to involve the public and the impact this has
- support improvements in equality, diversity, and inclusion in public involvement
- promote the UK Standards for Public Involvement.
We will embed this commitment into the decision-making processes of our organisations.