Public involvement and engagement in primary and emergency care research: the story from PRIME Centre Wales

Bridie Evans, John Gallanders, Lesley Griffiths, Robert Harris-Mayes, Mari James, Sian Jones, Natalie Joseph-Williams, Mary Nettle, Martin Rolph, Helen Snooks, Carolyn Wallace, Adrian Edwards

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Policy throughout the United Kingdom promotes involvement of patients and public members in research to benefit patient care and health outcomes. PRIME Centre Wales is a national research centre, developing and coordinating research about primary and emergency care which forms 90% of health service encounters. In this paper, we describe our approach to public involvement and engagement in PRIME Centre Wales (hereafter called PRIME), in particular: how this approach has developed; ways in which public members contribute to PRIME activity; the strengths and limitations of our approach, challenges and future opportunities. PRIME ensures work is relevant to service users, carers, the public and policy makers by incorporating comprehensive patient and public involvement in every phase of our work. PRIME has policies and processes to enable and promote successful public involvement and engagement across research activities. This ensures public perspectives and patient experiences are integrated throughout research development, implementation and dissemination and in managing and delivering PRIME strategy over a 10 year timescale. A public/patient group called SUPER is a key resource providing wide-ranging perspectives via email and face-to-face discussion. We collect information on processes and experiences to assess value and impact, to guide ongoing involvement and engagement. A funded post provides leadership and support to staff and to public/patient contributors to facilitate collaborations. A stable, well-resourced structure has provided the timescales to build strong relationships and embed diverse approaches to public involvement and engagement within PRIME. Researchers and public contributors have committed to collaborations, developed knowledge and skills and sustained relationships. Effective approaches incorporate values and actions which, when operating together, strengthen processes and outcomes of public involvement and engagement. Supportive context, motivation and time are necessary to foster values and practices that enable effective public involvement and engagement. PRIME has embedded public involvement and engagement across research activities and structures. Central is the public/patient group SUPER offering experience-based expertise to add value to the research cycle. This innovative model, aligned with best practice, enhances relevance and quality of primary and emergency care research to benefit patients and the general population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number03
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Population Data Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2020


  • public engagement
  • primary care
  • Research
  • public involvement
  • consumer involvement
  • emergency care research


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