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Involving patients and the public

Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) is where members of the public are actively involved in research projects and research organisations. These activities recognise that people with lived experiences contribute additional expertise and give valuable, novel insights. 

Our PPI team provides free support and advice for staff looking to involve patients and the public in their research.

In addition, they provide access to:


  • UHS’s PPI groups, including Adult, Perioperative Medicine, Young Adult (16-24 years) and Children and Young Person’s Group (8-16 years)

  • Database of adults interested in contributing to PPI activities (over 150 members)

  • Under-represented audiences through our outreach activities 

Please contact to get in touch with the PPI team and discuss your requirements.

Why involve patients and the public?

PPI in research is expected for many funding streams (including the NIHR) and is a consideration made by the National Research Ethics Service when assessing applications. If PPI is not incorporated into your work, you will have to give a clear explanation of why not.

It could benefit your research through:

  • Additional expertise – this could come from having experience of the illness or simply relate to their age or demographic

  • Ensuring the research questions are relevant and the priorities reflect the needs of those affected

  • Improving patient experience and influencing trial recruitment and retention

  • Assessing ethics/acceptability – helping ensure your research is conducted in a way that is sensitive to the needs and preferences of your participants

  • Assisting with writing in lay language

How could PPI help my research?

Patients and the public involved in your research could:


  • Help write and design patient literature for your participants, so they are more suitable for the reader.

  • Comment on ethical issues associated with studies, and how they can be addressed

  • Ensure your study is appropriately designed

  • Get advice on how to share your findings to a wide audience, in a way the public can understand

  • Guide the design of questionnaires to get reliable, honest data from trial participants, particularly when questions are about sensitive topics

  • Sit on your steering committee, to provide input based on their direct experience of the topic being investigated


Please see our Standard documents, templates and procedures to download the guidelines for researchers accessing any of the PPI groups and feedback form for PPI activities (for completion at the end of your PPI activity).

Additional resources

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