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As CLAHRC Oxford prepares for the next 5-year’s funding I wanted to reflect on their work to date.

I was a researcher in plant sciences, retiring to care for my elderly mother and more recently my twin brother with advanced cancer. This has led to an interest in Patient Public Involvement (PPI) first with the University of Warwick UNTRAP, followed by reviewing for the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB), Public Involvement and Lay Accountability in Research (PILAR) and, most recently, CLAHRC Oxford.

PPI works best by co-production, integrating academic and patient-carer experiences, ensuring research is relevant to the public. CLAHRC Oxford does this by signposting opportunities in newsletters, PULSE and Involvement Matters, for the public to take part in research projects, by organising training workshops and meetings where academics describe their research to the public.

I have been impressed at the consistent standards of excellence of CLAHRC Oxford in their research and PPI. I attended training courses where Jacqueline Birks and Mary McCall explained complex subjects presented in plain English and in a manner that was fun.

A meeting last summer ‘A celebration: you and CLAHRC Oxford’ described ideas for next stage funding and included a moving account of care for a family member with dementia.   The recent ‘Stakeholder Symposium 2019’ at the Said Business School, reviewed the outcomes of seven CLAHRC themes including the SMaRT psychological medicine service, Oxford Cancer Centre; collaboration with industry and food retail to improve healthy eating; the pros and cons of Digital technology in health care; health care at the population level as distinct from individual level.

A Question and Answer panel included a public contributor and fielded questions ranging from future national health care plans; managing the increasing pressures on the NHS; the move to multidisciplinary research units; living well in spite of long-term conditions; carer well-being; ensuring long term health plans are measurable, achievable and target the health needs of local communities.

I owe a special gratitude to Lynne Maddocks, Coordinator of Patient & Public Involvement in CLAHRC Oxford for her successes at integrating PPI into health research, organising training workshops and preparing the newsletters and above all making PPI fun.

Andrew Entwistle


On behalf of CLAHRC Oxford, we'd also like to thank Andrew and his brother for their work with us -- their insight and eloquence -- and, of course, for writing this blog post.

Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not of the NIHR CLAHRC Oxford, the NIHR, the NHS or the Department of Health.

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