Examples of good patient and public involvement fund applications

1) Example of a group meeting drawing on previous connections

We wish to hold an information evening for service users consisting of overweight men who took part in our previous research project. This will be to ask for feedback on our proposed new research. We will invite 16 men via a written invitation, and assume that eight will be able to attend. In particular we hope to gather some feedback regarding our ideas about a counselling intervention and its acceptability. We also hope to recruit two service users to be part of the research team. This application is to cover postage costs (invitations), refreshments and a “thank you” payment. We will ask service users to indicate what their travel expenses are likely to be when they confirm attendance at the event and we will reimburse them for any travel expenses incurred in cash at the meeting. If any of the participants have carer costs or any other special needs we will discuss these with them and apply for further funding, up to a total limit of £350, or seek alternative funding, should it be required. Costs:

  • room hire – free of charge
  • buffet and drinks = £5 per person, x eight people = £40
  • postage and return postage for invitations = £0.92 x 16 people = £14.72
  • travel expenses = approximately £10 per person, x eight people = £80
  • £10 thank you for eight people = £80

Total = £ 214.72

2) Example of good preparation and collaboration with a charity

This proposal was developed with the advice and contribution of the charity and as a result of a detailed face-to-face meeting with two of their managers. QRS’s established links and experience of partnership working suggests it is best to conduct two separate meetings involving:

  • users of services that are already engaged in the advocacy service (six), volunteers from the advocacy service (four)
  • users of services that are not engaged in the advocacy service (six); informal carers (four).

Following discussion with QRS, home based discussions were considered to be too costly, at £40 per person per visit, for the scope of the Research Design Service North West (RDS NW) public involvement fund. The two meetings will be arranged by QRS, who are prepared to provide all administrative costs, venue, refreshments and travel free of charge. It is proposed to start the meeting at 2.00 pm and run it for approximately an hour. This has proved to be a popular time for similar engagement events in the past. Each participant will be paid £10 as a thanks for their time, which is consistent with NIHR guidance. Discussions will be facilitated by the applicant and two experienced service providers. They will be structured to ensure that five broad themes are covered in the meeting:

  • who are the clients?
  • Where do they live?
  • What are their attitudes to health?
  • What challenges are there in improving their health?
  • How can we best involve patients in the proposed study?

Participants will be asked for examples to ensure that the meaning they seek to convey is “teased out” in full. Participants will also be asked if they would like to be involved in the study if this is funded. Continued involvement will be actively encouraged. Requested support:

  • thank you fee = 20 x £10 = £200

Total = £200

3) Example of a different approach

I propose to use this public involvement fund to support the use of a “research buddy” in the development of an application. This is a relatively underused patient and public involvement (PPI) methodology, but has been employed successfully in systematic review projects (reference). The approach has been shown to provide similar advantages to other methods of PPI that work with more than one person. The plan is for my “research buddy” to be a long-term partner in my research project, with a view to becoming an integral part of the research team. This doesn’t have to be the same person throughout the project; research buddies can change if circumstances dictate. The “research buddy” will have input to all stages of the research process. The application will include provision for training for the “research buddy” and a budget to attend conferences. I have already identified a member of the public to be my research buddy from a local PPI group. In the preparation for the application, I have followed NIHR guidance and propose to use this to fund the following:

  • “Research buddy” remuneration for meetings, including preparation time (12 hours x NIHR day rate @ £150 a day) = £ 225
  • Meeting room hire – nil
  • Snacks and refreshments for meetings – three meetings x £7.50 = £22.50
  • Travel expenses for three meetings, estimated at £20 per meeting = £60

Total = £ 307.50

4) Simple example of working with an existing group

The researcher will visit a patient experience group to tell them about the proposed idea and ask interested members to join in a consultation group discussion. Their views will be sought on the best time and place for this to happen and any other needs they may have to allow them attend. Discussions will focus on identifying issues from their ‘lived experience” perspective to ensure our study addresses their needs and aspirations. Advice gained can then be built into the study while it is still at proposal development stage. We plan to have a service user reference group as part of the study and will also seek advice from participants as to how this could be set up and function well. Costs:

  • Attendance fee for six service users to attend two hour consultation meeting £20 i.e. £10 per hour per person times six = £120
  • Travel cost re-imbursement at estimated local cost of £6 per person = £36
  • Catering – light refreshments = estimate £30
  • Community venue hire = estimate £100

Total = £286