Sheffield Emergency Care Forum (SECF) is a pioneering PPI group established over 10 years ago. In 2010, with encouragement from researchers at Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research, it was decided to create a formal PPI group to make PPI an integral part of the research process.
The group’s founding members were formerly part of the Sheffield Community Health Council, Sheffield Patient Forum, and Local Involvement Networks (LINk).
We aim to give a voice to patients and public in high quality research projects, often involving multi-site research centres across the UK. We are a lay, independent group and are guided by the NIHR standards for PPI. Unlike many groups we are not a disease or condition specific group and are involved in many aspects of emergency care research.
The group includes medical students and two members of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS). We hear news from them and benefit from their insight and first-hand experiences and the group provides opportunities for them to extend their knowledge and learn about ongoing medical and clinical research and research opportunities for their future career development. Most of our members are lay people from all walks of life. We seek to be as diverse a group as possible and welcome members from different backgrounds and ethnic groups.
What we do
The University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) is a leading centre for urgent and emergency care research with an international reputation. SECF works with researchers from ScHARR and their Centre for Urgent and Emergency Care Research (CURE). We aim to help researchers and patients throughout the research process, making participation easier and research accessible to the public. We represent patients and the public from across the community to encourage a commitment to focus on the patient.
We take part in research projects as Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) members of steering groups, management groups and as co-applicants, giving a lay perspective to help researchers produce and develop material that can be understood by patients and the public.
Leading high quality emergency care research must benefit and be relevant to patients and the public. Therefore, the Sheffield Emergency Care Forum aims to:
- Suggest new research which could lead to improvements in patient care
- Help prioritise research into pre-hospital, emergency, and urgent care
- Comment on new applications for research funding
- Provide input from patients and carers into research projects relating to urgent and emergency care
- Act as steering group, management group or co-applicant members on research studies
- Discuss ethical issues in the research which may affect patients
- Comment on patient information sheets, consent forms and questionnaires, and to assist in preparing lay summaries
- Comment on the research strategy and its progress
- Assist in raising awareness of research in clinical and research staff and the public
- Develop links to similar groups and patient support organisations
- Advise on ways of sharing results with the public
We concentrate our efforts on providing the public and patient perspectives in research studies related to pre-hospital, urgent and emergency care and, when possible, will also provide help and support to other research projects. Most of the major research projects we are involved with are funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and we also assist PhD candidates and medical students with their projects. All the research we are involved with is directly linked to the National Health Service.
We work with some of the largest multi-centred research studies and renowned researchers within their fields, to help ensure that their research is relevant and accessible to those whom the research aims to benefit. The people we work with include academic and clinical professors, hospital consultants, surgeons, students, nurses, GPs, ambulance service paramedics and researchers from all over the U.K. We will happily work alongside other PPI groups to give increased diversity.
SECF assists researchers by offering independent public and patient perspectives on research proposals, patient information sheets, consent forms, questionnaires/surveys and plain English summaries and help with multimedia dissemination of findings to the lay audience.
The group meets quarterly to hear and discuss the progress of ongoing studies and to hear from researchers about their new proposals and research findings. We also have presentations from medical students and talks from groups and organisations with an interest in urgent and emergency care research and PPI.
We contribute to projects by email and by attending study meetings with researchers, either online or in person. Members of the group have taken part in and are currently taking part in many research projects and play a vital role in ensuring the research is patient-focussed.
SECF has a representative on HealthWatch and on the local PPI forum. We also have links with other PPI groups.