Professor Derek Ward is the Director of Public Health for Lincolnshire County Council, and is currently covering the same role in North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire Councils. He is also a visiting Professor of Public Health at the University of Lincoln. Derek is the Public Health Clinical Research lead within the East Midlands Clinical Research Network (part of the NIHR) and has been on the board of trustees for of the Royal Society of Public Health and a member of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) public health advisory committee. Prior to his current roles he held a dual role within academia and the NHS. He was Director of the Health and Social Care Research Centre and a Professor of Public Health at the University of Derby and provided professional public health advice into the 4 Clinical Commissioning Groups across Derbyshire. Prior to taking up this joint role, he was Director of Public Health for Derby City for 5 years, firstly as an Executive Director within NHS Derby City Primary Care Trust and then latterly as a Chief Officer of Derby City Council. He also has significant experience of national and regional policy work, having been a Consultant in Public Health and a Senior Civil Servant in the Department of Health (DH).
Professor Pip Logan obtained her first degree, an Occupational Therapy BSc, in 1985 from the University of Derby. She then undertook her MPhil at the University of Nottingham in 1994, which was a community-based randomised controlled trial of occupational therapy for stroke patients. In 2004 she gained her PhD at the University of Nottingham, a randomised controlled trial evaluating an outdoor mobility intervention for stroke patients. She is the Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange for the School of Medicine, an NIHR Senior Investigator and Chief Investigator for a £1.8 million National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) HTA research grant which is exploring falls in care homes. She also works clinically for Nottingham City Care Partnership (NHS) in the community rehabilitation team.
Mark’s research and professional activity is about making significant contributions to the evidence base for oral health and its interface with general health and wellbeing with particular emphasis on vulnerable and marginalised people. Professor Gussy has experience and academic success that transcends professional boundaries and is now firmly located in transdisciplinary action and rural and community-centred health. Mark has strength in research methods, including trials, longitudinal cohort and prospective repeated cross-sectional design, together with a clinical interest in clinical disease and its multiple determinants, leading his research work towards complex community intervention trials and birth cohort studies. Mark has a particular interest and experience of systems of care/treatment services and the people and groups that sit outside the mainstream service and social systems and the health and social inequity that arises from this. Expert in oral health and its use as a vehicle for exploring broader social and structural determinants of participation and also challenging entrenched, exclusionary systems that disadvantage the most vulnerable. His work is multidisciplinary and straddles multiple domains including clinical care, health service research, community and participatory research, and equity and inclusion.
“Evaluating Public Health interventions – many real struggles tackled. Reflecting how things work or don’t work to facilitate needed change. Feeding back moving forward lightening load. Collaborations essential. Many minds make light work.” Researchers working alongside Public members facilitated by experienced public and patient involvement partners’ I have been called “The bridge- between the researchers and the public members” in my groups both in Hertfordshire, PHIRST PIRG (public in research group) and the consultancy lived experienced groups in the locations of our projects.
Photo my own Sculpture by Kevin Atherton – Kevin Atherton – Wikipedia
I have led the PPI in the PHIRST communications group one of my roles was to create the public involvement bit of this website
What has working on the PHIRST project been like for you?
‘I have really enjoyed my time working with the team. As someone who has an experience of disability and poor service user experience, it has been an enlightening and positive experience for me joining the PIRg* team. I can see hard working individuals going the distance to try to really make a difference with their research, as well as pushing the boundaries as to what it means to be a social researcher.’
What is important about ppi from your perspective?
‘The focus on the public and who the research (and therefore funding) is for. The clear collaboration between researcher and PPI shows it’s not being treated as a tokenistic aspect of the researchers own personal endeavours in academia.’
‘Tight deadlines and heavy workloads are always a problem in all workplaces! Managing this whilst the focus doesn’t stray from who and why the research is being developed is a challenge that has to be managed.’
What difference do you feel you have made?
‘The team have been really responsive with their feedback and taking on suggestions. I felt quite emotional about the team’s encouragement when it came to the suggestion of focusing on widening access to research and academia, when we were discussing knowledge mobilisation.’
(Picture) Isobel having a restful walk in nature- much needed time away from screens.
*PHIRST- Public in Research group in Hertfordshire University we have 10 members of the public on this team. They are involved at all stages of the research and have done evaluability assessment trained in and done qualitative data analysis. We have developed and given inductions for those new to public involvement and have training on the national standards of PPI. All our involvement work is regularly reflected on by the group and things change and develop collaboratively. We are now being very innovative and giving training around quantitative data analysis methods and will be involving them in that soon. We also have project specific public voice consultation groups. The Herts team really value and support Public Involvement.
Adding the perspectives of service users captures more ideas and interpretations than otherwise may be made or sought from research, as in the childhood lesson outlined in the song by Harry Chapin 1977 – “Flowers are red, green leaves are green, there’s no need to see flowers any other way than the way they always have been seen”
The moral of the story relates to everyone, not just children’s education, in that because things are seen one way doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be looked at or seen differently.
Hopefully with different perspectives comes a more colourful and inclusive world!
It’s nice to know that I am contributing to something that will help drive change and improve things by adding a lay persons perspective.
It is good to ‘ground’ the academics and to help them consider the reality of what they would like to research and its real-world usefulness, not just academically interesting.
(picture) John’s Dog Bella and unnamed mouse – all have a valid viewpoint. We embrace diversity.
“New to Public Involvement in Research”
Key phrases from Hollis:
Valuable input being valued
Research guided by the people
Honest conversation brings honest outcomes
Research from the ground up.
Real research with real life input.
How has PPI changed the project?
“The public voice is essential in mental health research because of the different perspectives to the professionals that they bring to the research. Often the professional researcher changes their proposal after listening to lay members. I think the lay member voices at the University or Herts lay member panel has enriched their research, and it has been great for my confidence. Listening to how the research progresses over the months at our meetings has been very fulfilling and it has been great to be part of the research projects from the beginning. ”
Member of PHIRST Connect, National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS), public voice group (new to research, public involvement)
‘I became involved through the NERS programme and I had a very positive experience that has allowed me to greatly improve my quality of life . Being involved in PHIRST seeing other PPI opinions has made me appreciate that while most people have a good experience and outcome there can be barriers to full engagement and it is very interesting to see things from other perspectives and viewpoints.’
Darren Lyons- ex user rep for Criminal Justice Pathways in Nottinghamshire
“At the start I was unsure of the contribution I could make to this programme and apprehensive about being involved. Working as part of this programme has allowed me to feel that I have been able to provide a unique perspective based on my life experiences as an ex-user. Working with so many different people from some many different back grounds has been a positive experience for myself and I am proud to have been a part of this project.”
“Being able to add my perspective and to help shape the outcome of this project has meant I believe that all strands of this end to end process have been considered to allow this to have the maximum positive effect on people’s lives.”
“Lots of small inputs, create a large positive output”
Nicholas is a qualitative researcher, who is working on delivering qualitative elements of various PHIRST Fusion project evaluations. His main research interests revolve around topics related to young people’s health, leisure and health inequalities. Nicholas has a background working as a practitioner in the fields of youth offending, child and adolescent mental health, and adult recovery and substance misuse. His PhD research focused on the risk perceptions and substance use practices of young people.
Dr. Jo Williams is a Consultant in Public Health at Bristol City Council, representing the Director of Communities and Public Health, Christina Gray. She is the academic lead for the local authority team, and has an honorary contract with University of Bristol to support and enable building the research interface with local authority public health policy and practice.