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11 Mar 2024

Reflecting on our involvement in the Shared Commitment to Public Involvement, as it celebrates its second anniversary

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Reflecting on our involvement in the Shared Commitment to Public Involvement, which celebrates its second anniversary, today.

In this blog, members of our public advisory network group, and our ARC Public Involvement and Community Engagement manager, reflect on the importance of signing up to the Shared Commitment to Public Involvement.

The Shared Commitment has been developed by the Health Research Authority (HRA) and aims to bring about changes which will drive up standards in health and social care research. More than ten national health organisations across the UK have already signed the shared commitment.

The ARC NENC signed up to the Shared Commitment to Public Involvement in October 2022. Two members of the ARC Public Advisory Network, Irene Soulsby and Chery Blake, attend Steering Group meetings together with the ARC Public Involvement and Community Engagement Manager Felicity Shenton. They also attended Public Contributor national meetings.

Monday 11 March 2024 marks the second the anniversary since the Health Research Authority (HRA) launched this national pledge to support public involvement in health and care research, and in that time numerous other organisations have signed the pledge and are working collectively to promote and improve public involvement in research.

Our public contributors recognise the important changes that have come about as a result of this new national Shared Commitment, and the way that experts by experience are now seen as an integral part of research.

Cheryl, who has many years involved as an expert by experience in education, service development and research said: “It is great that there are more opportunities now and there is more access to be involved in ground breaking research. . It really makes you feel valued when your thoughts are listened to and you know your helping to change things for the better.’

Irene has been involved in research for many years and also feels that her involvement with the Shared Commitment pledge enables her to be involved in important conversations at a national level. She said: “Research isn’t about scary scientists and medical trials, there are opportunities to have a real influence. Being part of the national conversation just helps other people to see that.”

Felicity Shenton added: “The public commitment means that in the ARC NENC we have been able to explore issues around remuneration at a national level with key players in NIHR, and to discuss issues about ethical conduct with other people and organisations that are engaged in this work. It all helps to raise the profile of the work and the importance that we should be placing on public involvement and community engagement in research.”

We look forward to continuing our shared commitment to public involvement for many years to come.

Find out more about the HRA Shared Commitment to Public Involvement