The Shared Commitment aims to bring about changes which will drive up standards in health and social care research.

Illustration showing a group of people

Dr Matt Westmore, HRA Chief Executive, said: “It’s great to have HDR UK joining our Shared Commitment to Public Involvement.

“This shared statement, developed with patients, research participants and leaders in health and social care research, will ensure public involvement is embedded across the health and social care research system.

“The entire research system is sending the same strong message. That public involvement is always important, always expected and always possible. The evidence is that better research results from involvement, and better research delivers benefits for patients.”

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 the ways in which the research community works together with people including patients, carers, advocates, service users, and members of the community.

Cassie Smith, Head of Legal, Trust and Ethics at HDR UK, said: “As the UK’s national institute for health data research, we are in a privileged position to enable research using health data to improve and save people’s lives. We therefore have a duty to ensure patients, carers, communities and the public are actively involved in decisions about how their data is used for research.

Signing up to the ‘Shared Commitment to improve public involvement in health research’ is an important step in building and scaling up active and meaningful patient and public involvement that ensures the diverse public directly influence and shape our work to deliver public benefit to all.

This is a fantastic example of collective action in practice across health and social care research and we are looking forward to collaborating with the community to improve practice, deliver change and ensure the needs and experiences of patients and the public are the center of our work.”

Read the commitment

In December the HRA and HDR UK will be coming together to for the HDR UK Annual Scientific Conference: Data for Global Health and Society, of which HRA are an official partner.

The event will look at the use of data to advance medical knowledge and deliver improvements to people’s lives, and hear from leading national and international figures from the health data sector, including Tim Ferris, National Director of Transformation at NHS England.

Dr Matt Westmore, HRA Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with HDR UK to deliver the Data for Global Health and Society conference.  Health data is crucial for improving treatments and saving lives and it’s essential that it’s inclusive and accessible for all. The conference is a great opportunity to come together and share learnings from across the sector.”

The conference is a hybrid event and will be hosted in Birmingham on Wednesday 14 December.

Register your place for the conference.

Organisations who have signed the shared commitment include:

The Academy of Medical Sciences

The Association of Medical Research Charities

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

Cancer Research UK

Health and Care Research Wales

Health and Social Care Northern Ireland

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement

National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR)

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria

NHS Research Scotland

UK Research and Innovation

Universities UK