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Dr Phil Turner facilitates the PPI group of the NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative (DEC) Oxford.

The research 

The DEC identifies and evaluates in vitro diagnostic tests for use in primary and acute care.


The DEC established a PPI group when they first began, to provide the public viewpoint on what they should investigate and to provide input into active projects. The group consists of three women and one man who have been involved since inception.

What was done (and what worked!)

At the meeting researchers come and present potential and ongoing research projects, research posters and publications in preparation, and receive the group’s input from a patient/public point of view. This is done verbally or sometimes the group is presented with a written proposal. In addition to in-vitro diagnostics, the group is also asked to respond to researchers who are working on other types of diagnostic or interventional projects.


The group meets quarterly in the RPC building for 2 hours during normal office hours and members are paid for their time. It will be ongoing for the funding period of the DEC.

The difference your PPI made

The group has been tremendously committed with a good attendance at meetings and they have actively learnt in their role. They have also been very flexible and accommodating and have provided last minute feedback remotely. Phil says “Their input has often completely blown away some of our preconceived assumptions.”

What was learnt?

One of the drawbacks of running an ongoing group that meets on a fixed schedule is that there is not always enough content for the meeting.

Part of the benefit of having an established group is that over time the meetings have become more efficient, due to the group’s familiarity with diagnostics studies. However, this is balanced against the worry that the group is becoming too prejudiced by the DEC’s own biases, particularly significant when the group is so small.

What people said

“It really helped to get the group’s input at this early stage of our planning – they made some really thought provoking remarks”

Conclusions and what next?

Nationally DECs have completed a process of reapplying for funding and as part of this, Oxford has proposed development and growth of the PPI input, based on their experiences to date.

Contact details

Phil Turner