CCHSR annual lecture explores patient and public involvement in research

Trish Greenhalgh discusses patient and public involvement in research

Photos by Joanna Anthony for CCHSR

21 November 2018

It is undisputed that patient and public involvement in research (PPI) is a good thing. The UK, and particularly the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), has led the world in driving change in order to make PPI a normal part of contemporary research. Real progress has been made, and worthwhile impacts have been documented. But all is not well in the land of researcher-patient partnerships.

PPI was the focus of the Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research (CCHSR) Annual Lecture on 20 November. Professor Trish Greenhalgh was the guest speaker.

In her lecture, Greenhalgh covered three deeply ironic problems that have emerged as unintended consequences of what must still count as progress: bureaucracy, efficiency and legitimising flaws. She argued that to honour the principle of PPI, we need to ask some hard questions about the unintended consequences of what has been achieved so far.

Greenhalgh is an internationally recognised academic in primary health care and trained as a GP. As Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Research In Health Sciences (IRIHS) unit, she leads a programme of research at the interface between social sciences and medicine, with strong emphasis on the organisation and delivery of health services. Her research seeks to celebrate and retain the traditional and humanistic aspects of medicine while also embracing the unparalleled opportunities of contemporary science and technology to improve health outcomes and relieve suffering.