National University of Ireland Galway

National Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) in Research Conference, 2019

The Fourth National Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) in Research Conference took place on Wednesday, 1 May 2019, in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway. The theme of the conference was ‘Progressing Together’ and was jointly hosted by the Health Research Board (HRB), Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland, and PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway.

The conference was open to members of the public, researchers and healthcare professionals who are interested in working in partnership with patients and the public to build reliable evidence to answer important healthcare research questions.

The Irish Cancer Society is committed to putting patients, families, survivors, supporters and the public at the very heart of what we do. It has been a priority of the research department in the last two years to increase PPI in our own process and also in the grants that we fund. As such, this conference was of great interest to us.  

The packed schedule featured talks from a variety of individuals and groups involved in PPI, including a researcher, patient advocate, patient organisation and health care system. It was extremely interesting to hear about PPI from all different perspectives. It was also very encouraging to see how PPI is already making a difference in some areas.

An example of this is the D1-Now YAP in Galway, which is a Young Adult Panel for young adults with Type 1 Diabetes. The YAP group are involved in contributing to the development and direction of D1-Now, a project that aims to develop and pilot complex interventions to improve health outcomes in young people with Type-1 Diabetes. From the panel discussion with two of the YAP members it was clear that their involvement was not only very important to them personally but also of huge benefit to the research project.  

Dr Rachel Bermingham from the research department at the Irish Cancer Society presented on ‘Embedding patient reviewers in the grant review process’ as part of the Lightning Talks, with feedback session. The presentation focused on the Society’s recent initiatives in the review process to have patient review panel make the final funding decision. The feedback provided after the presentation was extremely helpful and provided much food for thought!