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Explanatory Notes

Stage 1: Identifying and Prioritising Research Topics

Invite public contributors and other stakeholders e.g. carers, professionals (PCT managers, practitioners, social care managers etc.) to a forum to compare and agree priorities for research. Public contributors may have very different ideas of priorities from researchers whilst funders may also take a different view. Make venues and arrangements suitable for the audience. Consider time of day, duration, access, diet/refreshments, breaks, expenses, carer's needs, seating, acoustics, audio-visual, toilets, parking etc. Plan support mechanisms e.g. buddy system, mentoring, large print documents at least a week prior, some means of follow up/feedback after the event etc. Be aware that people will be from different backgrounds and have varying levels of confidence, understanding, and experience of working in groups in this way etc. Involvement at this stage may be about agreeing what is the most relevant research question. Be aware that whilst a question may be important it may not be the most critical issue for public contributors hence the need for discussion. Consider and be clear about how the decision-making process will work.