The Patients Association has joined leading organisations to launch a new initiative to build on a joint pledge to improve public involvement in health and social care research. 

The initiative will see 21 health and social care organisations, who are part of the Shared Commitment, come together every quarter to share best practice, guidance and new innovations in public involvement at Learning and Sharing sessions. 


The Shared Commitment Learning and Sharing meetings will also involve members of the public and include discussions about challenges and barriers to making public involvement in research the norm.  

The new Learning and Sharing meetings have been launched today on the second anniversary of the Shared Commitment to Public Involvement.  

The Shared Commitment was launched in partnership with the Health Research Authority (HRA), leading health and social care organisations, and members of the public in March 2022. 

The Shared Commitment is a joint pledge that each of the organisations has signed, to improve the quality of public involvement across the health and social care research sector. 


The Learning and Sharing meetings are held virtually every quarter with the Shared Commitment partner organisations.   

Sarah Tilsed, Head of Patient Partnership at the Patients Association, said:

“We joined the Shared commitment to Public Involvement in Health and Social care Research to learn what other organisations are achieving in public involvement, and to continue raising the profile and importance of it in health and social care research. 

The Patients Association believes patients should be actively involved in decisions made about their care and in the design of the health and care system. As an independent charity campaigning for improvements in health and social care, we believe improvements can only be achieved if the system works in partnership with patients. 

“We work in partnership with patients, health and care providers and organisations that regulate services for patients to improve both the experience and outcome of care. By using our set of patient partnership principles and working in partnership, we ensure the voice of patients is heard and acted upon. 

“Coming together on a regular basis and to share our learning and discuss our challenges will help to ensure that we improve the quality of public involvement in our organisations and across the sector. It will mean removing duplication of work and enhancing resources. 

“Excellent public involvement is inclusive, values all contributions, ensures people have a meaningful say in what happens and influences outcome. 

We joined the Shared Commitment in December, so I look forward to being a part of the new Learning and Sharing meetings as its second anniversary is marked and working in partnership with these organisations.” 


The Shared Commitment builds on work led by the HRA in response to the reduction in public involvement seen in studies submitted for approval at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Public involvement refers to all the ways in which the research community works together with people, including patients, carers, advocates, service users, and members of the community in the design and delivery of research. 

Excellent public involvement is inclusive, values all contributions, ensures people have a meaningful say in what happens, and influences outcomes, as set out in the UK Standards for Public Involvement. Evidence shows that excellent public involvement improves the quality and impact of research.