Who we are and what we can offer

The development of the National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia (NIAA), the Health Services Research Centre (HSRC), and in particular, the HSRC's success in partnership working on major grant applications, has led to an increased and unmet need for PCPIE.

A Patient, Carer and Public Involvement and Engagement (PCPIE) Working Group, based at the RCoA and reporting through the HSRC, has been set up to provide patient, carer and public involvement and engagement to support researchers in anaesthesia and perioperative medicine.

The PCPIE Working Group formed in July 2013 and consists of members selected from the RCoA's Lay Committee who have an interest in clinical research.

We are able to offer a service to researchers, primarily at the planning/design stage of a research grant application. This is in the form of commenting on research proposals and draft information aimed at patients/the public from the perspective of members of the public generally.

The group can give its views on areas including research topic importance, consent issues and the participant experience. In many cases, particularly for research involving recruitment of patients, we will also recommend involvement of local service users with experience of the relevant healthcare area, if this has not been addressed already. This will help ensure that the research is more relevant and acceptable to people who should benefit from the research.

For these reasons, we prioritise work that is at an early stage of development, to allow time for meaningful integration of our feedback into the research proposal. A lead time of 7-10 days should be allowed for feedback to be summarised and returned to researchers.

In some cases we may be able to offer ongoing support for a research proposal that goes on to be funded, in the form of ongoing document reviews and general guidance on public involvement. In a smaller number of cases one of the group may offer to sit on the trial steering panel if required, although our resources are limited in this area.