Joint Research Office


Patients and public discuss research involvement activities around Covid-19

9 April 2020

Patients and members of the public joined a Zoom call today to start discussing how best to approach patient and public involvement in research during the Covid-19 pandemic.

On the call Managing Director for Research Dr Nick McNally briefed the participants about the response the UCLH Research Directorate had initiated in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nick outlined the large amount of Covid-19 research that is already happening at UCLH and the research that we have in the pipeline supported by the BRC. UCLH research includes trials of therapeutics and medical devices, data initiatives, and surveys on the impact of the pandemic on people’s wellbeing.

Patients and members of the public on the call said they were keen not to hold up research – but agreed PPI was needed. They said we need to find ways of convening patient and public panels at short notice – and said it was important to involve people who have had Covid-19. Today was the first conversation – a start. The group will meet regularly to work out the way forward.

The UCLH BRC continues to support researchers in carrying out PPI during the Covid-19 pandemic, and is interested in thoughts on how to do PPI around Covid-19. Patients, members of the public and researchers are welcome to get in touch via ppihelpdesk@ucl.ac.uk.

Dr McNally said: “We welcome ideas from the public and the research community on how we rapidly do PPI for Covid-19 studies particularly in a era of social distancing when so many of us are confined to our homes and working remotely. PPI improves the quality of research, and higher quality research into Covid-19 will translate into better patient care during the pandemic.”