The National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) won the Public Involvement Achievement award at the 2018 Health and Care Research Wales conference yesterday for their pioneering work on public involvement in mental health research.
Professor Catherine Robinson, PÂR academic lead, and Bethan Edwards, member of the public, submitted the winning project ‘Partnership in Research (PÂR)’ amongst 14 other applications from the Health and Care Research Wales infrastructure.
Through PÂR, an initiative that creates opportunities for carers and users of mental health services to be actively involved in research, the NCMH were able to demonstrate how the project is inclusive of those with lived experience of mental health across Wales.
PÂR enables researchers to understand how a voice from those with lived experience can enhance future research and care, and highlights how the group can work together with researchers to address public involvement in the whole research cycle, from design to dissemination.
Bethan said: “I’m delighted that PÂR has won this year’s Public Involvement Achievement award. The NCMH has worked incredibly hard over the last year to ensure PÂR and public involvement is embedded within the centre.
“As a member of PÂR, I’m looking forwards to developing and increasing public involvement in mental health research with the NCMH.”
Michael Bowdery and Carys Thomas, joint interim directors of Health and Care Research Wales, presented the award to Professor Ian Jones, director of the NCMH, who represented Professor Robinson, and Bethan Edwards at the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff.
Professor Jones said: “Listening to the voice of lived experience is key to everything we do at NCMH. We believe that research is most successful if it is a true partnership between academics, clinicians and, most importantly, those who are experts by experience.
“We recognise, however, that this is not easy. We are therefore incredibly proud of the hard work and progress that the PÂR group has made, and are delighted to have received this recognition from Health and Care Research Wales. There is more to be done and progress still to be made, but this award is a good sign that, together, we are on the right path.”
Two runners up were also mentioned at the awards ceremony:
Bob McAlister, who was a part of the judging panel for the award, commented: 'It was very good that the competition again attracted a high number of entrants from across the infrastructure. I was impressed with the quality and originality of some of the work. It showed that members of the public are being meaningfully embedded in research decision-making.”
For more information about public involvement in research click here.