What is PPI?

As the UK’s only Biomedical Research Centre dedicated specifically to cancer we undertake translational and early-phase research in all cancer types. The BRC’s mission and strategy focuses on accelerating the development of improved patient experience and outcomes through cancer research.

A clinician in discussion with patients

We fund both individual projects and core facilities in areas aligned to our strategic aims. Our portfolio of more than 300 studies includes research across all tumour types. We have a wide network of academic, industry and charitable partners. 

Patient and public involvement (PPI) is a central function of the BRC and through this we incorporate and integrate the perspectives of patients, carers and the public into our research. Involvement of patients and the public throughout all stages of our studies, from initial idea to release of results, ensures we produce research that reflects issues considered important and relevant to those potentially affected by the research.

Commitment to patient and public involvement is pivotal in making sure we undertake scientific and clinical research that is focused on the needs of patients, carers and the public. We encourage and support cancer patients and representatives to work alongside researchers and health professionals and make meaningful contributions in key areas such as research prioritisation, management and dissemination.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, said: "People-focused research in the NHS simply cannot be delivered without the involvement of patients and the public. No matter how complicated the research, or how brilliant the researcher, patients and the public always offer unique, invaluable insights. Their advice when designing, implementing and evaluating research invariably makes studies more effective, more credible and often more cost efficient as well.”

Patient and Public Involvement is essential to incorporate and integrate patients’ or the public's perspectives into the design of research and different stages of research so that the research reflects issues that are important and relevant to those whom it potentially affects. 

At its heart, PPI is about empowering individuals and communities, in order that they can play a greater role in shaping health and social care research. In this way, PPI aims to democratise health and social care research, to ensure it has maximum health and social benefit.

Examples of patient and public involvement are:

  • Contributing to an organisation’s Central Research Executive Group
  • Identifying research priorities
  • Helping inform the design of data collection tools, for example, piloting a questionnaire
  • Commenting on research proposals/applications
  • Acting as co-applicants on a research project 
  • Acting as members of a project advisory or steering group
  • Commenting and developing patient information leaflets or other research materials
  • Taking part in dissemination of results (conference presentations, contributing to publications)
  • Collaborating with the PPI manager on training in PPI for researchers